OMV profit jumps despite Arab uprisings

Energy sector giant OMV AG has managed to increase its turnover and profit although it was forced to scale back its activity at some of its most crucial production and exploration sites due to the unrest in the Arabian world.OMV said today (Weds) its turnover soared by 53 per cent to 8.07 billion Euros from the first three months of 2010 to the same period of 2011. The firm added that its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) rose by 14 per cent to 807 million Euros at the same time. Its net profit climbed by five per cent to 365 million Euros in the first quarter of this year. Analysts had predicted barely changed performance figures earlier this week.The Vienna-based company explained its business prospered in the first quarter of 2011 because of the consideration of activities by Petrol Ofisi. OMV upped its stake in the Turkish petrol station chain from 41.58 per cent to 95.72 per cent last December.OMV explained it was considering a possible change of strategies due to the political developments in North Africa and the Middle East – where the firm has been active for decades – as well as because of rising interest in eco-friendly energy solutions.The company – which was previously named ÖMV – made clear it expected its overall production to be lower in 2011 than in 2010. OMV withdrew most of its staff from Libya a few days after dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi assigned soldiers, mercenary forces and henchmen to kill people who took to the streets to cry out for human rights and fair elections earlier this year. Around 20 per cent of OMV’s overall oil production has taken place in the North African nation.OMV is also active in Tunisia, New Zealand, Australia and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The firm runs thousands of petrol stations and offers various energy sector products and services. OMV has a 51 per cent interest in Romanian oil company Petrom.Former vice chairman Gerhard Roiss succeeded Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer as CEO of OMV last month. Ruttenstorfer had headed the company since 2002. OMV has approximately 31,400 employees. The Republic of Austria holds a 31.5 per cent interest in the firm via ÖIAG, the Federal Industry-Holding Stock Corporation.