Israel’s biggest refinery posts quarterly net loss of $3.6 million as increase in sales cancelled out by higher crude oil prices, decline in refining margins

Published: 05.25.10, 14:48 / Israel Business

Oil Refineries swung to a first-quarter net loss on Monday as an increase in sales was cancelled out by higher crude oil prices and a decline in refining margins.

Israel’s biggest refinery posted a quarterly net loss of $3.6 million, compared with profit of $74.6 million the same period last year.

Revenue rose to $1.7 billion from $984 million a year earlier. The sharp rise in sales was neutralized by higher cost of sales, which almost doubled to $1.67 billion compared with $882 million last year.

The company said its results were affected by “highly volatile” crude oil prices, which reached a price of $80 a barrel at the end of the quarter.

Its adjusted refining margin amounted to $3.2 a barrel, or $23.1 a ton, compared with the average Reuters’ quoted Mediterranean Ural Cracking Margin for the first quarter of $25.5 a ton.

In the first quarter of 2009, Oil Refineries had a refining margin of $4.4 per barrel, or $32.4 a ton.