Austrian oil and gas giant OMV AG said Tuesday fourth-quarter net profit rose 8 percent on the year due to a strong oil price and a higher refining margin, and in spite of a 2 percent fall in total output.
OMV, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group, also said it expects to deliver robust earnings in 2008 supported by, among other things, further expansion of the international gas business and the gas logistics business, and continued modernization at its Romanian subsidiary Petrom SA.
Net profit attributable to shareholders for the three months through Dec. 31 came to euro318 million (US$470.4 million), up from euro295 million (US$436.2 million) a year earlier, OMV said.
The company's closely watched adjusted net profit however, fell 1 percent on the year, to euro408 million (US$603.9 million) from euro411 million (US$607.8 million).
In a statement, OMV Chief Executive Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said the company was well positioned to succeed in Central Europe's increasingly competitive market.
"The strong results for this past year once again evidence the success of our strategy _ to advance our growth as an integrated oil and gas group," Ruttenstorfer said. "We are in an optimal position _ geographically, strategically and financially _ and are on track to achieve our 2010 objectives."
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