Orlen Plans First Dividend in Five Years as Debt Drops

PKN Orlen SA, Poland’s largest oil company, proposed its first dividend in five years, planning to pay out 30 percent of 2012 profit, after its earnings improved and debt fell.

Orlen proposed to pay 641.6 million zloty ($196 million) or 1.5 zloty per share, the Plock, Poland-based refiner said in a regulatory statement today. The dividend compares with a projection of 1 zloty a share in a Bloomberg survey and accounts for 3.82 percent of the company’s market value.

The state-controlled refiner hasn’t paid dividends since 2008 as the zloty slumped amid the global financial crisis, boosting the value of its foreign-currency denominated loans. The company cut debt in past years, with net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization falling to 1.58 in 2012 from 2.93 at the end of 2009, it said today.

Orlen’s unconsolidated profit was 2.13 billion zloty last year, compared with 1.39 billion zloty in 2011.

The company announced a new dividend policy in 2012, saying its payouts won’t be higher than 5 percent of its stock’s average market value in the previous year.