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(Reuters) - U.S. refiner HollyFrontier Corp (HFC.N) reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by a 61 percent rise in operating costs.
However, sales and other revenue at the Dallas, Texas-based company rose 52.5 percent to $3.08 billion, as it benefited from higher selling prices.
Average sales price per produced barrel rose 43.5 percent to $66.62 per barrel in the quarter.
Robust demand for refined products and declining inventories are offering a glimmer of hope to refiners, whose margins fell sharply in 2016 due to a glut of gasoline and diesel.
HollyFrontier's refining margins rose 2 percent to $7.74 per barrel.
But costs for refiners have gone up with a rise in oil prices, caused by an OPEC-led production cut and rebounding demand.
U.S. crude prices CLc1 averaged $51.78 per barrel in the first three months of the year, up 54 percent from a year earlier.
Total operating costs and expenses at HollyFrontier jumped 61 percent to $3.1 billion in the first quarter.
Net loss attributable to the company's shareholders was $45.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $21.3 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net income for the latest quarter was reduced by $12.0 million due to one-time items.
Excluding items, the company posted a net loss of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, bigger than the Street estimate of a loss of 12 cents per share.
Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur