Petrom Second-Quarter Net Falls as Romanian Currency Rises

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SNP Petrom SA, the Romanian oil company owned by Austria's OMV AG, said second-quarter profit fell 7 percent as the local currency strengthened, reducing earnings from exports, reported Bloomberg.

Net income dropped to 506 million lei ($210 million) from 546 million lei a year earlier, Bucharest-based Petrom said in an e-mail today. Sales declined 16 percent to 2.7 billion lei from 3.2 billion lei, it said.

``The powerful appreciation of the leu against the U.S. dollar and, to some extent, lower prices for oil, had a negative effect on revenue and profit,'' Petrom General Director Mariana Gheorghe said in the e-mail.

Romania's leu has gained 22 percent against the dollar and 15 percent against the euro in the past year, making it the sixth-best-performing currency in the world and reducing the income of exporters.

Petrom said refining margins in the second quarter rose 8 percent and investment almost doubled to 235 million lei.

The company's shares fell 1 percent to 0.51 lei in trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange as of 10:21 a.m. local time. They have dropped 9.7 percent in the past year.

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