ELPE, spurred by favorable supply deals, seen posting 48% EBITDA rise

Driven by a series of more profitable crude supply agreements reached in recent times, the refinery ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) is expected to post a first-quarter EBITDA figure of more than 250 million euros, according to market analyst forecasts.

If achieved, this performance will represent a 48 percent year-on-year rise compared to the 169 million-euro EBITDA figure posted for the first quarter last year.

Besides the greater profit margins offered by the refinery’s more recent crude supply agreements, other factors contributing to ELPE’s upward trajectory include its rising production levels and over-performance levels.

These set of factors helped ELPE post a record EBITDA figure of 836 millions euros last year, propelled by a 16 percent production increase to 14.8 million metric tons, as well as a net profit of 329 million euros, up from 45 million euros in 2015 and a loss of 369 million euors in 2014.

In recent times, ELPE has established a number of direct deals with crude suppliers and relied less on traders acting as middlemen. Last year, the Greek refinery reached direct supply deals with Iran’s NIOC and Russia’s Rosneft.

Most recently, ELPE struck a deal for supply of Kurdish-controlled crude within Iraq. A first of at least two shipments is expected within the next two weeks. The order’s delivery should be completed by late May.

According to sources, this crude is of high-performing quality as reflected by its elevated cost of 2.5 dollars per barrel, compared to just one dollar per barrel paid for Iraqi crude. The Kurdish crude is expected to replace the Iraqi crude in ELPE’s energy mix.

According to sources, ELPE’s EBITDA figure totalled 184 million euros for January and February this year, while an additional 70 to 80 million euros is expected to be added by the company’s performance in March.

ELPE has announced it will report its first-quarter results on May 17, a week ahead of the refinery’s scheduled annual shareholders’ meeting.