ECONOMY

Hellenic Petroleum doubles core profits

Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum said on Monday its third-quarter core profit almost doubled year-on-year, helped by improved refining margins and production.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which strips out inventory losses, rose to 146 million euros from 74 million euros in the same period last year.

The figure was above an average forecast of 119.7 million euros in a recent Reuters poll.

Improved refining margins in the Mediterranean and higher production at one of the group’s three refineries, which operated at full capacity after maintenance work in the previous quarter, boosted profits, the company said.

Demand for fuel in Greece rose for the first time since the country’s debt crisis broke out in 2009, growing by 3 percent.

The company also said it would propose the distribution of 0.21 euros a share to shareholders from unused tax reserves at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders scheduled for December 15.

“I would expect that the distribution will take place within two months of the EGM decision,” Chief Financial Officer Andreas Shiamishis told an analysts conference.

[Reuters]