Hungary: MOL’s increase of Q1 2021 EBITDA

, SEE Energy News

Despite the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent travel restrictions and lockdowns in central and eastern Europe, Hungarian oil and gas company MOL announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, with Clean CCS EBITDA in the amount of 664 million dollars, which is 7 % higher compared to the same period in 2020.

Strong oil and gas prices, record high petrochemical margin and the good performance of Consumer Services contributed to the results. MOL Group produced 383 million dollars simplified free cash-flow in the first three months of the year, 17 % more than a year ago.

MOL’s CEO Zsolt Hernadi said that Q1 2021 financial result is a great achievement considering the pandemic situation during these past months. This strong performance is the product of previous strategic initiatives combined with integrated resilient business model. Exactly one year ago, the company entered a period of uncertainty, but it learned how to adapt and emerged stronger from the crisis. With the vaccination and gradual ease of lockdowns in the region, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Upstream EBITDA reached 307 million dollars, an increase of 66 % compared to last year’s Q1 result and 70 % higher than in Q4 2020. The good performance was driven by the continuously higher oil and gas prices and the contribution of the ACG asset in Azerbaijan. The 116.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day production volume was slightly lower than in the previous quarter, but it was 6 % higher year-on-year, due to volumes boosted by ACG.

Downstream Clean CCS EBITDA came in at 254 million euros, 14 % lower than last year in the same period, as a result of lower refinery volumes caused by mobility restrictions and the lower refinery margins. This decline was partly offset by the strong petrochemical performance, as the integrated petrochemical margin increased by 74 % year-on-year, reaching 873 euros/ton during March 2021. The polyol project exceeded 79 % overall completion at the end of Q1. Consumer Services EBITDA increased by 30 % to highest-ever Q1 result at 115 million dollars, mostly driven by higher fuel and non-fuel contribution and supported by lower operating expense. Lower CAPEX lead to 45 % higher free cash-flow generation than a year ago. This good performance was reached despite the lower fuel sales volumes caused by the third wave of pandemic-related travel restrictions in CEE.

Gas Midstream EBITDA fell by 33 % year-on-year in Q1 2021 to 48 million dollars, as both transit revenues and regulated income fell as a result of materially decreased cross border capacity and transmission demand.