Czech petrochemical giant Unipetrol Group announced its financial results on Thursday confirming a net profit of just under 8 billion crowns while the group's total revenues amounted to some 87.8 billion. The net profit, a record for the group, grew yearly by 939 million crowns to 7.9 billion, an increase of 13 percent year on year.
The petrochemical group confirmed that factors which had significantly influenced in the results were insure payments for property damage and the interruption of business operations at the company's steam cracker in Záluží near Litvínov, damaged by a fire; the unit took more than 10 months to repair to the tune of four billion crowns. Another positive factor was the increase of value in the downstream segment (which consists of the refinery and petrochemical units).
At the same time, the financial results were affected by operating limitations in petrochemical and refining production. In its press release, the Group stated it had achieved a "very good financial position" at the end of 2016, with net cash amounting to 2.8 billion crowns. Unipetrol's CEO Andrzej Modrzejewski outlined that Unipetrol had continued to invest for the future, in his words an "all-time high of nearly 11 billion crowns" towards the modernization and reconstruction of production technologies, especially in the construction of the new polyethylene unit. He added that the positive numbers had allowed Unipetrol Group to pay dividends for the first time in eight years. And he said that a simplification and streamlining of "administrative procedures" at the intragroup level would help to greatly increase overall competitiveness.
Unipetrol's retail segment showed an operating profit of 958 million at the end of 2016, the group confirmed, an increase by 129 million (+15.6 %) caused by higher fuel sales resulting from positive macro environment. Improved results were achieved also in the segment’s non-fuel services with a contribution of the modern food concept STOP CAFE. In the course of the year, the concept was introduced at 39 filling stations. Overall, a total of 168 Benzina gas stations were equipped with the food outlets. The Unipetrol Group also continued, it said in its release, thre gradual takeover of 68 OMV fuel stations. Last year it took over 20 stations, increasing the total number of Benzina filling stations to 363. The takeover project is expected to be completed during 2017. Benzina’s market share increased to 17.6 % (at the end of October 2016), strengthening its market leader position in the Czech Republic.
In 2016, Unipetrol Group’s employees increased by more than 700 people. At the end of the year, Unipetrol Group employed a total of almost 4,500 workers.