Croatia INA First-Quarter Net Income Falls to 241 Million Kuna

INA Industrija Nafte d.d., the Croatian refiner controlled by Hungary’s Mol Nyrt., said first-quarter net income fell 8 percent from a year earlier as gas sales and refinery output declined during a recession.

Profit dropped to 241 million kuna ($44 million) from a revised 261 million kuna in the same period a year ago, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, fell to 831 million kuna from 1 billion kuna, the Zagreb-based company said in a statement today. Revenue declined 22 percent to 5.5 billion kuna.

“Our efforts are now directed at further strengthening of our market position and on research and production projects,” Zoltan Aldott, head of the management board, said in the statement.

Croatia’s largest energy company is still feeling the effects of a halt of its profitable gas and oil business in Syria in February 2012 to comply with European Union policy on the civil war-torn Middle Eastern country. The economy of Croatia, which joined the EU in July, hasn’t grown since 2008.

Mol owns 49.1 percent of the Zagreb-based refiner, while the Croatian government holds a 44.84 percent stake. In the last two years, Croatia has attempted to increase its influence in INA, after Mol won controlling rights in 2009.

The two sides have been in talks over the company’s future since September and both have filed arbitration claims. Mol said on Oct. 3 it may consider selling its stake in the company, while Croatia said on Jan. 31 it may also consider looking for a new partner.

The Zagreb-based refiner may also participate in Croatia’s tender for oil and gas research in the Adriatic Sea, expected to be announced after April, according to Aldott.

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