Rompetrol Rafinare, turnover increased by 42% in 2008

Refining segment
• historical record of processed raw material (4.5 million tones), 18% more as compared to 2007
• extension by 350% of the capacity to transit finished products through the Midia harbor
• starting of the Euro 5 gas production, the company producing in 2005 Euro 5 diesel oil

Petrochemical segment
• increase of the polymer sales by more than 26%
• increase of the turnover by 36% as compared to 2007

Distribution segment
• increase of the turnover by 37%
• development of the fuel distribution network to approximately 450 units

Rompetrol Rafinare, member of the Rompetrol Group, registered in 2008 a consolidated turnover of USD 4.68 billion*, 42% higher than the level registered in 2007. At the same time, the operational profit (EBITDA) of the company and its subsidiaries increased to approximately USD 36 million.

The financial results were strongly influenced by a series of external factors, which were independent from the activity of the refinery. Among these, we can specify the record evolution of crude oil (increasing by 35% as compared to the 2007 average), which determined an increase of the working capital and related financings, foreign exchange differences given the depreciation of the national currency (14% for RON/USD and 10% for RON/EURO), and the influences of the international financial crisis.

Last year, the company registered a historical record of processed crude oil – 4.2 million tones, from 3.7 million tones in 2007 and 1.15 million tones in 2000 before the takeover by the Rompetrol Group. The investments of over USD 350 million during the 2001-2007 period but also the finalization of the investments estimated for 2008 (approximately USD 121  million) allowed the refinery to pass from the production of Euro 2, Euro 3, Euro 4 fuels to the exclusive production of Euro 5 fuels in 2009.

In December, Rompetrol Rafinare started the production/delivery of Euro 5 gas, further to total investments related to the Euro 5 fuel range of over USD 40 million. At the end of the year, the company also finished the works related to the extension, by 350%, of the transit capacity of finished products through the Midia harbor, an investment of over USD 27 million.

During the same period, the Rompetrol Group finished the construction of a Black Sea terminal, which shall ensure the reduction of the distance for the supply of the refinery with crude oil by approximately 33 kilometers as compared to the itinerary passing through the Constanţa harbor and shall allow an important cost reduction, of at least USD 4-5 /tone.

The production of fuels related to the refining segment increased last year by 10% as compared to the level registered in 2007, up to a level of over 3.05 million tones.

The turnover achieved in the distribution segment (Rom Oil, Rompetrol Downstream and Rompetrol Logistics) in 2008 amounted to USD 2.5 billion, 37% higher as compared to the 2007 indicator. At the same time, the sales of fuels increased by approximately 9%, given the extension of the distribution network and the increase of sales through its own and Rompetrol Partner stations.

At the end of 2008, Rompetrol Downstream operated more than 450 fuel distribution stations (own stations, Rompetrol Partner, Expres stations) and 189 internal bases with a capacity of 9 and 20 cube meters.

Rompetrol Petrochemicals, the petrochemical division of the Rompetrol Group, registered last year a turnover of approximately USD 360 million, 36% more than in 2007. Although the company registered an increase in the sales of petrochemical products (234,000 tones) by 26%, the operational profit (EBITDA) was directly influenced both by the unfavorable market conditions and the high production costs.

Given the international financial crisis and the constraint of the specialized markets, the company reduced in December – January 2009 the polymer production by approximately 55% by stopping the LDPE– low density polyethylene plants and HDPE– high density polyethylene plants, in order to balance the production according to the demand but also to avoid the increase of stocks. From February 2009, Rompetrol restarted the LDPE plant and called again to work approximately 40% of the personnel who was in technical unemployment.

Rompetrol Rafinare continued to be, also in 2008, an important contributor to the Romanian state budget, paying USD 1.1 billion in 2008, 14 % more than in 2007.

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

** The presented results are preliminary, unaudited and consolidated, and the reporting was made according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Further to the financial auditing, they may be amended, the final results to be subject to the approval of the General Assembly of Shareholders, according to the 2009 financial Calendar.