NIS Nine-Month Profit Jumps 19% on Lower Costs, Higher Output

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Naftna Industrija Srbije AD, the Serbian oil and gas company controlled by OAO Gazprom Neft, said its nine-month profit jumped 19 percent as costs fell and output increased.

Net income climbed to 32.2 billion dinars ($368 million) as sales advanced 22 percent to 162 billion dinars, the Novi Sad, Serbia-based company known as NIS said in an e-mailed statement today. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped 49 percent to 18.1 billion dinars as oil and gas production rose 13 percent to 1.25 million tons of oil equivalent.

“The results are slightly above market expectations,” said Nenad Gujanicic, chief broker at Belgrade-based Sinteza Invest Group AD.

Vertically integrated NIS, which tomorrow will restart units at its main refinery in Pancevo after their upgrade, processed 1.46 million tons of crude in the first nine months, 17 percent less than a year ago. Investments increased 62 percent to 30.4 billion dinars, which included 6.9 billion dinars spent on the expansion of its retail distribution networks in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Debt shrank $91 million this year to $367 million at the end of September, according to the statement.

NIS will “soon” regain about 17 billion dinars of debt owed by Serbia’s state-owned gas monopoly Srbijagas JP, which will lead to a ‘very high full-year result,’’ Gujanicic said.

Its shares rose for a third day, adding 1.3 percent to 648 dinars. Gazprom Neft owns 56 percent of the company, while the Serbian government’s stake is 30 percent.

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