In its January-September interim report on 25 October Neste Oil expected the international benchmark refining margin and the price differential between Russian Export Blend (REB) and Brent crude oil to weaken during the fourth quarter. Since then these parameters have continued to be volatile, while the downward trend has accelerated. Also, as anticipated, the start-up phase of the Porvoo refinery following the maintenance shutdown in August-September had a negative impact on Neste Oil's performance in October.
The Company now expects the fourth-quarter comparable operating profit to be on the same level as in the third quarter. Neste Oil's comparable operating profit for the third quarter was EUR 99 million, and EUR 415 million for the first nine months of 2005. Full-year 2005 comparable operating profit is expected to be below last year's level of EUR 584 million.
Comparable operating profit excludes inventory gains/losses, gains/losses from the sales of fixed assets, and changes in the fair value of open oil derivative positions.
Neste Oil Corporation
Senior Vice President, Communications
Neste Oil Corporation is a leading independent Northern European oil refining and marketing company, with a focus on advanced, clean traffic fuels. Neste Oil's refineries are located in Porvoo and Naantali, Finland, and have a total refining capacity of approx. 250,000 bbl/d. The company employs around 4,500 people. Neste Oil is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange (symbol: NES1V). For further information, see www.nesteoil.com.