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Sinopec Profit Gains as Refining Losses End, Output Increases

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner, reported a 25 percent gain in first-quarter profit after ending refining losses and increasing oil and natural gas output.

Net income rose to 16.7 billion yuan ($2.7 billion), or 0.19 yuan a share, in the three months to March 31 from a restated 13.4 billion yuan, or 0.15 yuan, in the previous period, the Beijing-based company said today in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. That compares with an 18.9 billion-yuan average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The refiner, known as Sinopec, earned a profit from its refining business for the first time since 2011 as China moved to more closely link domestic fuel prices to international crude rates. Operating profit in refining reached 2.2 billion yuan in the quarter, the company said in the statement. It made an operating loss of 11.9 billion yuan in 2012 and 37.6 billion yuan in 2011 because of government control over retail fuel prices.

Crude oil output rose 0.8 percent to 82.2 million metric tons in the quarter, while its realized oil price declined 6.9 percent to $98.83 yuan per barrel, according to the statement. Gas output climbed 14 percent to 163 billion cubic feet, and crude oil processing rose 5.9 percent to 58.7 million tons, it said.

The shares gained 2 percent to close at HK$8.53, before the earnings announcement. The stock has climbed 4.7 percent in the past year, compared with an 8.5 percent gain in Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net; Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong at bhaas7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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