BUDAPEST. MAY 6. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - The net profit of Petrom, Romania's largest oil company and an affiliate of Austria's OMV, is expected to reach EUR 193 mln in the first quarter of 2008, compared to EUR 492.5 mln posted for the full year 2007, according to analysts polled by Romanian news site businessstandard.ro.
According to the survey, which polled analysts of Raiffeisen Centrobank, KBC Securities, Wood&Co, UniCredit Market&Investment Banking and the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), estimates varied between EUR 120 mln and EUR 270 mln, while the average of the forecasts came in at EUR 193 mln, up 176% compared to the same period in 2007.
The rise foreseen by analysts is mainly due to Petrom taking advantage of increasing oil prices, thanks to the company's strong presence in the upstream sector. "High oil prices and the weak RON against the U.S. dollar led to a substantial rise in Petrom's profit in the first quarter, offsetting the traditional weak results in the refining sector," Lajos Meszaros, analyst of KBC Securities Hungary was quoted as saying.
Petrom's first quarter results are expected to be published on Wednesday, the news site noted.