OMV Profit Beats Estimates as Higher Oil Output Counters Costs

OMV AG reported a smaller drop in first-quarter profit than analysts estimated after central Europe’s biggest oil company boosted production amid higher operating costs.

Net income dropped 13 percent to 302 million euros ($416 million), the Vienna-based company said today in a statement, beating the 294 million euro average estimate of nine analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Production rose 3 percent to 311,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

“We are making progress in the right direction and we will continue to deliver on our commitment to profitable growth,” Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Roiss said.

OMV has renewed its focus on production and exploration, while disposing of less profitable units. The company sold its 45 percent stake in the Bayernoil refinery at the end of last year. It’s investing to exploit reserves in the Black Sea and the North Sea, while exploring in an area stretching from Sub-Saharan Africa to Tunisia.

OMV agreed with OAO Gazprom on April 30 to extend a planned natural gas pipeline into Austria to boost gas security and strengthen the country’s role as a regional gas hub. Security issues have reduced exploration and production at OMV sites in Libya and Yemen, where the outlook remains “very difficult to predict,” the company said.

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