OMV profit falls by more than half

Austrian oil and gas producer OMV reported today (Thurs) that its net profit had declined by 58 per cent year on year to 572 million Euros in 2009.Turnover fell by 30 per cent year on year to 17.92 billion Euros last year. Analysts had expected a decline of 26.5 per cent in turnover and 65.2 per cent in net profit.Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) fell by 40 per cent year on year to 1.41 billion Euros in 2009, whereas analysts had expected a drop of 39 per cent.OMV said it would maintain its dividend of one Euro a share, which would constitute a 52 per cent disbursement of net profit, in 2010.The number of its employees fell by 16 per cent year on year to 34,676 in 2009, and the number of employees at its Romanian subsidiary OMV Petrom declined by 19 per cent to 28,984.OMV’s net debt fell by four per cent year on year to 3.31 billion Euros, and its investment declined by 34 per cent to 2.36 billion Euros last year.General Director Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said 2009 had been a “volatile and challenging year” but added that the firm’s cost-cutting efforts were succeeding.”We are on the way to reaching our goal of a 300 million Euro reduction of our costs by the end of 2010,” he added.He noted that OMV had suffered last year from lower crude oil prices and sales and smaller refinery margins caused by the recession.