Thursday, May 10, 2012

Romania's Petrom Q1 net profit tops forecasts

May 9 (Reuters) - Romania's top oil and gas company Petrom, majority-owned by Austria's OMV , posted on Wednesday a net profit of 1.384 billion lei ($407.73 million) for the first quarter, above market expectations.

The average forecast in a Reuters poll was for a net profit of 1.08 billion lei. Petrom recorded a profit of 840 million lei in the same quarter last year.

"The extreme weather conditions we witnessed in the first two months of 2012 caused technical disruptions which impaired our production volumes ... and dragged down our marketing sales," Petrom CEO Mariana Gheorghe said in a statement.

"However, our gas sales volumes benefited from the harsh winter and we also recorded improved margins mainly on gas extracted from storage." ($1 = 3.3944 Romanian lei) (Reporting by Ioana Patran; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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