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Half of Unipetrol's six subsidiaries show profit in 2003

Ceska rafinerska (CeRa), Kaucuk, and Chemopetrol, all subsidiaries of the Czech petrochemical holding Unipetrol, posted net profits in 2003, Unipetrol spokesman Tomas Zikmund Interfax Friday.

The refinery CeRa netted CZK 416 mln last year, up from a CZK 736 mln loss one year earlier. However, the firm’s revenues dropped from CZK 40.5 bn in 2002 to CZK 32.5 bn in 2003. CeRa refined 5.9 mln tonnes of oil last year, an increase of 6 % yr/yr.

The petrochemical firm Chemopetrol netted CZK 109 mln, an increase of CZK 93 mln yr/yr. The firm’s revenues were up 10 % yr/yr to CZK 18 bn in 2003.

Rubber maker Kaucuk Kralupy showed a net profit of CZK 129 mln, down CZK 213 mln from 2002.

Three other Unipetrol subsidiaries and the Unipetrol parent company ended 2003in the red.

Pharmaceutical maker Spolana showed a loss of CZK 2.6 bn last year, mainly due to lower demand for its products and losses suffered during the 2002 floods.

Fuel retailer Benzina showed a loss of CZK 270 mln in 2002, due to lower margins in what the firm describes as a “highly competitive environment.” The firm sold 1 bn liters of fuel last year, an increase of one-third yr/yr. Sales added 32 % yr/yr to CZK 17.5 bn in 2003, mainly due to higher wholesale trades.

The Pardubice-based oil refinery Paramo lost CZK 142 mln last year, against a profit of CZK 135 mln in 2002. Parent company Unipetrol posted a loss of CZK 192 mln, which it attributed to high depreciation.

The results are preliminary, unaudited, and to Czech accounting standards (CAS). Results to international standards (IAS) will be released in March.

The Unipetrol group includes the Unipetrol mother company, the 100 %- owned subsidiaries Chemopetrol, Kaucuk, and Benzina, and the majority- owned subsidiaries CeRa (51 %), Paramo (74 %) and Spolana (80 %). The Czech state controls 63 % of Unipetrol but plans to sell its stake this year.

(Interfax 20.ii.04)

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