December 15, 2017 / 2:15 PM / 3 months ago

Serbian oil producer NIS to spend $2.2 bln to up production

BELGRADE, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Serbian oil company NIS plans to invest $2.2 billion in its operations by 2025 and increase production to secure a leading position in south-east Europe.

Russia’s Gazprom Neft owns 56.15 percent of NIS, the Serbian government 29.88 percent and small shareholders the remainder of the company.

NIS said on Friday that its development plan to 2025 forecasts a rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at an average of 4 percent annually.

“We are convinced that the strategy ... will be a driving force for the successful development of NIS ... with an aim of becoming the leading energy company in Southeastern Europe,” CEO Kirill Tyurdenev said in a statement.

The plan also includes an increase in production at its oil refinery in Serbia’s northern town of Pancevo, improvements to its retail network and investments in electricity generation.

In the first half of 2017, NIS posted net profit of 12.4 billion Serbian dinars ($123 million).

One of the biggest contributors to Serbia’s budget, NIS operates two refineries with a production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of oil and gas equivalent per year.

NIS shares were unmoved on Friday at 700 dinars. ($1 = 100.5300 Serbian dinars) (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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