Hellenic Petroleum Q3 core profit rises
Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), Greece’s biggest oil refiner, reported a 15 percent rise in third-quarter core profit on Thursday with stronger sales volumes more than offsetting lower refining margins. Adjusted for oil inventory holding, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at 237 million euros, up from 206 million euros in the same period a year earlier. The figure beat analysts’ average forecast of 213.4 million euros in a recent Reuters poll. HELPE, which operates three refineries in Greece and exports more than half of its output, said refining sales volumes, thanks to high utilization rates of its refineries, outweighed a 20 percent drop in benchmark refining margins and higher provisions for carbon dioxide emissions rights. Refining sales volumes rose 8 percent in July to September to 4 million tons. For the nine months to September, EBITDA, including oil inventory gains, rose 20 percent to 731 million euros. HELPE has said it expected EBITDA to top 1 billion euros this year, up from 851 million euros last year. Under Greece’s privatization program, HELPE has agreed to sell a 35 percent stake in Greece’s gas grid operator DESFA for about 280 million euros.