Paz gains for year despite Q4 loss

Much of the loss was attributed to an inventory write down.

Paz Oil Company Ltd. (TASE:PZOL) today published its financial report for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008. The Zadik Bino Group refining and fuel subsidiary posted a net profit for the year, despite a fourth quarter loss.

Paz posted NIS 3.38 billion revenue for the fourth quarter of 2008. The company posted a net loss of NIS 77 million for the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of NIS 121 million for the corresponding quarter of 2007. The company attributed the loss to a reduction in value on inventory.

For the year as a whole, Paz posted NIS 17.91 billion revenue, 32% more than the NIS 13.59 billion revenue in 2007. The net profit rose to NIS 607 million in 2008 from NIS 579 million in 2007. Net profit attributed to majority shareholders was NIS 602 million in 2008.

Retail revenue from gas stations and convenience stores rose to NIS 10.6 billion in 2008 from NIS 8.47 billion in 2007. Refining revenue from Paz Ashdod Refinery Ltd. rose to NIS 5.97 billion in 2008 from NIS 4.1 billion in 2007.

Paz CEO Yona Fogel earned NIS 5.2 million in 2008, including a gross salary of NIS 2.45 million, a NIS 1.9 million bonus, and NIS 939,000 in stock options.

Fogel noted, "The annual results stand out given the global economic crisis and the slowdown in the Israeli economy. The fourth quarter loss was mostly due to a write-down on unsecured inventory and calculations for deferred taxes related to the operating currency of the refining division. Excluding these two effects, the company's business activity in the fourth quarter of 2009 was good. The company distributed NIS 300 million in dividends during the year, and made NIS 722 million in investments, both from the company's free cash flow."

Fogel added, "During 2008, the company opened seven gas stations, 21 convenience stores, and eight new commercial compounds. We invested in improvements at Paz Ashdod Refinery which boosted output to a record 4.4 million tons. The refinery has now begun running a cogeneration power plant that will generate electricity for its own needs and for sale to customers. We set up Paz Solar to operate in the renewable energy business, and which is due to bid in the tender for the photovoltaic power plant at Ashelim, among other things."

Paz's share rose 0.9% by early afternoon to NIS 377.20.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 25, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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