* Q2 net profit 222 mln lira vs Reuters f'cast 281 mln lira
* Sales up 45 pct at 6.63 bln lira vs f'cast 6.5 bln lira
* Iran sales are not ongoing, Tupras says
ISTANBUL, Aug 20 Tupras (TUPRS.IS), Europe's
fourth-biggest oil refiner, on Friday posted a 40 percent drop
in its second-quarter net profit, pulled lower by a weaker lira.
The company also said it was not selling fuel products to
Iran at present, in light of U.S. and EU sanctions designed to
put pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme.
Net income was 222 million lira ($147 million), compared
with an estimate of 281 million lira in a Reuters poll of eight
analysts. It earned 371 million lira in the same period of 2009.
Sales in the second quarter were 6.63 billion lira, above a
forecast of 6.5 billion lira and the 4.58 billion lira it posted
in the year-ago period, according to an income statement.
The lira fell against the dollar during the second quarter,
so Tupras paid more in dollars for its purchases of crude, while
its sales are in lira.
EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation, rose 13 percent to 594 million lira in the first
six months of the year, the statement showed.
Tupras had a net refining margin of $5.68 per barrel at the
end of June, it said. Its profit margin was 4.1 percent higher
in the first half.
TRADE WITH IRAN
Tupras, Turkey's sole refiner, purchases about a third of
its crude from neighbouring Iran. In June, Turkey provided about
half of Iran's gasoline needs, but sales last month dropped 73
percent to $25.6 million, equivalent to about one cargo, as
sanctions against Iran took effect.
Companies doing business with Iran could see their assets
exposed in the United States, which instituted the sanctions
over Iran's nuclear programme.
"In the current situation, sales of petroleum products to
Iran are not being made. Therefore, there is no possibility that
our company will face any kind of sanctions," Tupras said.
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said last week he would support
Turkish energy companies doing business with Iran. Officials on
Friday said the U.S. embargo did not apply to Turkey and it was
bound only to U.N. sanctions. [ID:nLDE67J18Z]
Tupras shares fell 0.74 percent to 33.50 lira, in line with
the benchmark index's decline.
Koc Holding (KCHOL.IS), Turkey's biggest company, owns 51
percent of Tupras, which operates four refineries in Turkey,
with total capacity of 28.1 million tonnes.
(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Will Waterman)
($1=1.510 Turkish Lira)