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MOL Q1 earnings decline on narrower margins

Hungarian oil and gas company MOLʼs first-quarter net income fell 19% to HUF 48.6 billion from the same period a year earlier as margins narrowed, Hungarian news agency MTI says, citing an earnings report released early Friday.

Earnings were slightly under the HUF 50.5 bln estimate by analysts polled by 

Total operating revenue rose 14% to HUF 1,145.7 bln, but total operating costs outpaced that growth, increasing 16% to HUF 1,088.4 bln. Operating profit slipped 17% to HUF 57.3 bln.

A net financial loss of HUF 4.2 bln - widening from HUF 1.9 bln in the base period - weighed further on the bottom line. Earnings per share came to HUF 69.

"Earnings declined from a high base as refinery margins were substantially weaker and this was only partly mitigated by our strong internal performance across all businesses," said chairman-CEO Zsolt Hernádi. He added that MOL is "on the right track" to meeting 2019 guidance and funding transformational investments.

Strong growth in consumer services

A breakdown by business segment shows MOLʼs upstream revenue increased 10% to HUF 127.1 bln, while EBITDA of the segment climbed 15% to HUF 83.3 bln. MOL noted that production reached a seven-year high of 115,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Downstream revenue rose 15% to HUF 998.9 bln, but the businessʼs EBITDA dropped 35% to HUF 33.3 bln. 

Revenue of MOLʼs consumer services business was up 12% at HUF 353.1 bln and the segmentʼs EBITDA jumped 22% to HUF 24.9 bln. MOL said it now has 700 Fresh Corner petrol station coffee shops.

Gearing ratio up 3%

MOL had total assets of HUF 4,767.1 bln at the end of March, up 11% from twelve months earlier.  Non-current assets were up 8% at HUF 3,098.3 bln and current assets increased 19% to HUF 1,668.8 bln. Non-current liabilities edged down 3% to HUF 968.3 bln and current liabilities were up 25% at HUF 1,439.8 bln. MOLʼs net gearing ratio rose to 15% from 12% in 2018 on higher net working capital and the impact of applying IFRS 16, the new accounting standard for leases.