Mol’s First-Quarter Ebitda Jumps 47%, Guidance Confirmed

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Mol Nyrt.’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped in the first quarter as the refining and marketing units at Hungary’s largest refiner delivered the strongest January-March results ever.

Clean CCS-based Ebitda, the closest watched earnings indicator for Mol, soared 47 percent to 154 billion forint ($569 million) in the first three months of the year, the company said in a statement on the Budapest bourse’s website. Net income dropped to 9.1 billion forint from a restated 20.8 billion forint a year earlier as financial losses rose 20 percent to 57.3 billion forint.

Mol, which entered the Norwegian market earlier this year, is seeking to boost production and looks for acquisitions as it faces headwinds from dwindling reserves in eastern Europe, a civil war in Syria and plummeting oil prices. With the first-quarter results Mol is “even more confident” that it can achieve its annual $2 billion clean CCS EBITDA target this year, Chairman Zsolt Hernadi said in the release.

“All of Mol’s main business segments delivered a pleasant surprise in the first quarter,” making Mol “an attractive investment target,” analysts at KBC Groep NV’s brokerage in Budapest said in an e-mail on Friday.

Mol shares rose 1.6 percent to 15,495 forint by 9:12 a.m. in Budapest, leading gains in the benchmark BUX index. The stock has gained 33 percent this year, helping push the benchmark BUX stock index 37 percent higher in the period.

Upstream Ebitda, excluding special items, dropped an annual 36 percent to 60.7 billion forint, while Ebitda at the downstream segment jumped to 58.7 billion forint from 24 billion forint a year earlier, helped by a stronger dollar and improving refining conditions, according to the statement.

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