Serbian oil firm NIS said on Friday its first-quarter net profit was down 15 percent at 8.4 billion dinars ($99 million), due to the decline in the value of the dinar and local economic conditions.
NIS, majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, said that its participation in a state programme designed to subsidise fuel for farmers and its decision to limit the rise in wholesale and retail prices of oil were also behind the profit fall.
Nevertheless earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) almost doubled to 15.5 billion dinars, NIS said in a statement.
Sales volume fell 2 percent, mainly due to severe weather in February. At the same time, Serbia’s fuel market contracted by more than 7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011, it said.
NIS said investments in the first quarter tripled to 7.7 billion dinars while the company’s total debt to banks was cut by $188 million to $444 million.
NIS’s shares were trading down 0.7 percent at 655 dinars, data on the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) showed.
Under a 2009 energy pact between Russia and Serbia, Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of export monopoly Gazprom paid 400 million euros ($529.18 million) for a 51 percent stake in NIS. It raised its holding to 56.15 percent last year for another 40.3 million euros.