Rompetrol - Q4 financial results

Rompetrol Rafinare, member of the Rompetrol Group improved in 2009 its net result by more than 29%, reaching a negative level of USD 180 million as compared to USD 255 million in 2008. In the forth quarter, the company obtained a decrease over 47% of the net result, up to a negative level of 72.5 million.

The financial results were first of all influenced by factors specific to the oil industry, such as the decrease by 65% of the refinement margin level, the significant decrease by more than 76% of the price difference between the Ural and Brent oils, as well as the price reduction of oil products, of 30% for gasoline and 43% for diesel oil.

At macroeconomic level, the difficult conditions of obtaining working capital and the related financing, the exchange rate differences against the depreciation of the national currency (21% for RON/USD and 15% for RON/EUR), as well as the influences of the international financial crisis represented important elements in the development of the company’s activity.

At the same time, Rompetrol Rafinare recorded a 32% decrease of its consolidated turnover* in 2009, up to a level of USD 3.2 billion and the result obtained in the last quarter of the year amounted to USD 853 million, 7% less than the one obtained in 2008 during the same period of time.

The distribution segment, which constists of Rompetrol Downstream, Rom Oil, Rompetrol Logisitics and Rompetrol Gas companies, recorded an increase of 57% of the operational result (EBITDA) in 2009, i.e. over USD 47 million, taking into consideration the fact that the value of this indicator tripled during the last quarter, from 3 million to 10.1 million.

The company’s strategy to extend its distribution network and optimize its operational activity, by opening the first control and monitoring centre of the gas stations in Romania, led to a 5% increase of the total volume traded by means of the distribution segment (retail, wholesale and the Partner network), amounting to 1.4 million tons, the company recording a 24% increase of the en-gros segment.

At the same time, the turnover obtained in 2009 amounted to approximately USD 2 billion, 21% less as compared to its level in 2008, due to the price decrease of the oil products.

In 2009,  Rompetrol Downstream opened a number of 19 new gas stations, following a total investment of USD 25 million, out of which 13 million were allocated to the commissioning of the first 4 Litro stations, a new premium station concept.

At the end of 2009, Rompetrol Downstream was operating 800 stations, 31% more than in 2008, encompassing 460 gas stations (own gas stations, Rompetrol Partner, Expres stations) and 340 internal bases with a capacity of 9 and 20 cubic meters, also adding 250 GPL distribution stations and over 6,000 sale points of gas cylinders.

International evolution of oil and fuel market influenced the refining segment, represented by the Petromidia refinery and by its working point Vega Ploieşti, recorded in 2009 a turnover of approximately USD 2.7 billion, 36% less than in 2008 and a negative operational result (EBITDA) of approximately USD 36 million.

The total sales of fuels related to the refinement segment in 2009 reached 2.8 million tons, 2% less than the similar period of 2008, against a total amount of processed raw materials of 4 million tons.

Rompetrol Petrochemicals, the petrochemical division of Rompetrol Group, recorded a turnover amounting to USD 240 million last year, 33% less as compared to 2008, the company’s activity being influenced by the decrease of the international prices of petrochemical products.

The company recorded notable improvements of the operational result (EBITDA), although the international context of the oil markets did not have a positive evolution. Thus, at the end of the year, the negative value of this indicator amounted to 13.6 million, as compared to 49 million in 2008, a significant decrease of the financial loss being achieved in the forth quarter, from 30 million recorded in 2008 to 1.1 million in 2009.

The positive margins were determined by the diversification of the product portfolio, as well as by the activity enhancement. Moreover, Rompetrol Petrochemicals is the sole polypropylene and polyethylene manufacturer in Romania, thus managing to consolidate its market share.

Rompetrol Rafinare continued to be an important taxpayer in Romania, its contribution to the state budget in 2009 amounting to over USD 1 billion.

* The financial consolidated results of Rompetrol Rafinare include the results of Rompetrol Rafinare S.A. and those of the Rompetrol Petrochemicals S.R.L., Rom Oil S.A., Rompetrol Downstream S.R.L. and Rompetrol Logistics S.R.L. subsidiaries (together with the Rompetrol Gas S.R.L. and Eurojet S.A. subsidiaries).

** The presented results are preliminary, unaudited and consolidated, and the reporting was performed in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Following the financial audit, these may suffer modifications, and the final results shall be submitted for approval in the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, in compliance with the Financial Calendar of 2009.