Slovenia’s Petrol Group responded to the crisis caused by the epidemic in a comprehensive manner. Initially, activities were focused on ensuring the continuity of operations in the changed circumstances and on identifying and managing risks. Further activities, however, had a long-term focus so that the Petrol Group could operate without interruption in a very different business environment.
The environment in which the Petrol Group operates is facing important changes. Energy transition towards a low-carbon company and the development of new technologies are transforming established ways of how energy products are produced, sold, and used. The Petrol Group has responded to the challenges by adopting a new Strategy for 2021–2025. It will continue to supply the market with quality petroleum products, at the same time providing answers to the opportunities delivered by the energy transition and green energy commitment.
In the first three months of 2021, the Petrol Group’s adjusted gross profit stood at 137.1 million euros, an increase of 30 % compared to the same period last year. As a result of successful adaptation of sales to market conditions and effective cost management, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 16 % compared to the first three months of 2020 and amounted to 54 million euros.
The Petrol Group generated 50.1 % of its EBITDA through petroleum product sales, 23.8 % through the sale of other products (natural gas, electricity, LPG), 16.6 % through merchandise sales, and 9.5 % through the sale of energy and environmental systems. The net profit stood at 27.8 million euros, up 27 % year-on-year. EBITDA (+46 %) and the net profit (+52 %) for the first three months of 2021 are also better compared to the results for the same period of 2019 (the pre-pandemic period).
In the first three months of 2021, the Petrol Group sold 607.5 thousand tons of petroleum products, down 18 % relative to the corresponding period last year (mostly due to a decrease in retail sales resulting from the pandemic and the changed import regime in Italy). Sales of liquefied petroleum gas stood at 33.4 thousand tons, down 21 % year-on-year. As a result of lower temperatures during heating season and increased sales on foreign markets, natural gas sales increased by 107 % compared to the same period in the previous year and stood at 13.3 TWh.
Sales of electricity to end customers increased with the incorporation of E 3 into the Petrol Group. In the first three months of 2021, revenue from the sale of merchandise totaled 129 million euros, an increase of 3 % compared to the same period in the previous year. At the end of March 2021, the Petrol Group operated 500 service stations, of which 318 in Slovenia, 110 in Croatia, 42 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 in Serbia and 15 in Montenegro.
By responding quickly to changed market conditions, both by adjusting and diversifying its product range and by streamlining and optimizing costs, the Petrol Group managed to lessen the negative impact of the pandemic on its operations already in 2020. Even more, the efforts and activities aimed at optimizing costs and streamlining business operations had a positive impact on the business results for the first three months of 2021. The Petrol Group’s stability was once again confirmed by Standard & Poor’s, which affirmed its rating at BBB- with a stable outlook.