Argentina's YPF says Q2 net profit up 8 percent per year
BUENOS AIRES |
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company YPF had an 8 percent increase in second quarter net profit to 833 million pesos, it said in its first earnings statement reflecting performance since the company was nationalized in May.
Reporting late on Friday, YPF (YPFD.BA) said the company had a net profit of 771 million pesos in the second quarter of 2011.
YPF said second quarter operating profit was 1.86 billion pesos, up 25.5 percent from the second quarter of 2011. Quarterly ordinary revenues rose 17.7 percent to 16.08 billion pesos, thanks to higher liquid fuel prices, it said.
The government grabbed a 51-percent stake in YPF from Repsol (REP.MC) after accusing the Madrid-based parent company of under investing in Argentine production. Spain was incensed by the nationalization and is helping Repsol press for compensation that may take years to settle.
"These earnings seem positive, but it is too early to say whether YPF will turn out to be one of the well-run state oil companies, such as Petrobras (PETR4.SA) in Brazil and Ecopetrol in Colombia, or one of the poorly run ones," said Ignacio Labaqui, who analyzes Argentina for Medley Global Advisors in New York.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez easily won re-election last October, promising to increase state involvement in Latin America's No. 3 economy.
The 59-year-old Peronist leader is part of a bloc of regional governments - including Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia - bent on regaining control of their natural resources from foreign companies.
YPF's first-half net profit was 2.13 billion pesos, down from a revised 2.37 billion pesos in the same 2011 period, the statement said.
The Fernandez administration, also on Friday, ordered a tax hike on biodiesel exports, a move it said was needed to bring down domestic fuel prices.
YPF on Thursday opened a diesel fuel refinery near the city of La Plata that is expected to produce 1.75 billion liters per year as part of Argentina's plan for regaining energy self-sufficiency after years of rising fuel imports.
($1 = 4.6025 Argentine pesos)
(Additional reporting by Guido Nejamkis and Magdalena Morales; Editing by Gary Hill, Leslie Gevirtz, Bob Burgdorfer and Bernard Orr)
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