April 27, 2020 / 12:56 PM / a month ago

Serbian oil producer NIS turns to first-quarter loss amid coronavirus lockdown

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbian oil company NIS, majority-owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, reported a loss of 1.1 billion Serbian dinars ($10.16 million) in the first quarter of 2020, citing slump in crude oil prices and demand amid coronavirus lockdown.

The company made a net profit of 158 million dinars in the same period of last year.

NIS earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at 5.2 billion dinars, 18% down year-on-year.

“Our results in this quarter are the result of circumstances that we could not influence,” Kirill Tyurdenev, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.

The total value of the company’s investments in exploration, production and capacity modernisation in the first quarter stood at 42.2 billion dinars, or 3% more than in the first quarter of 2018, it said.

One of the biggest contributors to Serbia’s budget, NIS operates two refineries, plus fields in Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and Angola.

Its shares rose 0.38% to 533 dinars on Monday.

Gazprom Neft owns 56.15% of NIS, while the Serbian government holds a 29.88% stake and small shareholders the rest.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo

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