Serbian oil firm NIS said on Thursday higher output helped it turn a net profit of 21.4 billion dinars ($302 million) in the first half of 2011 after a 9.6 billion dinar loss in the same period of 2010.
NIS, majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft , said its operating revenue in the same period went up to 87.5 billion dinars from 68.9 billion dinars a year before, while operating costs rose to 70.8 billion dinars from 63.2 billion dinars.
“The achieved profit is a result of improved efficiency, cost management, advancement and expansion of derivatives assortment, as well as of increase in oil and gas production,” the company said in a statement.
It said domestic crude oil and gas production increased by a third, while the volume of crude oil refining fell 14 percent. Its sales also fell 3 percent from the first half of 2010.
NIS had said earlier it aimed to triple crude output and almost double sales by 2020 in its drive to become the regional market leader. .
It posted a profit of $220 million last year after a loss in 2009.
Its shares were trading down 1.44 percent at 755 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 ($568.3 million) for a 51 percent stake in NIS and raised its holding to 56.15 percent in March for another 40.3 million euros.
NIS had earlier said it planned to invest $740 million to complete the overhaul of its two refineries in 2012, which would enable it to harmonise the quality standard of the fuels it produces with those in the European Union.