Comparable operating profit reached EUR 597 million, up 5.7% on 2005
Neste Oil continued to deliver solid performance in 2006. Both reported and comparable operating profit exceeded the corresponding figures for 2005, despite lower reference refining margins especially in the fourth quarter. The company reduced its net debt by 10%, which brought the leverage ratio down to 25.6% from 33.0% in 2005. The Board proposes a dividend of EUR 0.90 per share, equivalent to 37% of earnings per share.
2006 performance in brief:
* Net sales of EUR 12,734 million (9,974 million)
* Comparable operating profit of EUR 597 million (565 million)
* Operating profit of EUR 854 million (831 million)
* Earnings per share of EUR 2.46 (2.60)
* EUR 535 million (668 million) capital expenditure, virtually covered by EUR 512 million (596 million) of cash flow from operations
* Net debt reduced to EUR 722 million (796 million)
* The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 0.90 per share (0.80)
President & CEO Risto Rinne:
"We reported another good result in 2006. We were able to offset much of the negative impact of the weak refining margins and low freight rates in the last quarter. Especially Base oils and Oil Retail businesses improved their contribution. Our capital expenditure remained high, as we invested over 530 million euros during the year. We are now in the process of starting up a new diesel production line at the Porvoo refinery, and in the summer we will commission the world's first plant producing high-quality renewable NExBTL diesel."
"In 2006 we also updated our strategy and set new growth targets for oil refining and premium-quality biodiesel. In line with this, we continued to divest non-core businesses. The company's financial targets and dividend policy were updated as well. I have every reason to believe that we have a strong strategy and a good platform to grow and add shareholder value in 2007 and beyond."
Risto Rinne, President & CEO, tel. +358 10 458 4990
Petri Pentti, CFO, tel. +358 10 458 4490
News conference and conference call
A press conference in Finnish on the 2006 results will be held today, 9 February 2007, at 11:30 am EET in the Mirror Room at Hotel Kämp, Pohjoisesplanadi 29, Helsinki. www.nesteoil.com will feature English versions of the presentation materials.
A conference call in English for investors and analysts will be held today, 9 February 2007, at 3:00 pm EET. The call-in numbers are as follows: Europe: +44 (0)20 7162 0125, US: +1 334 323 6203. Use the password: Neste Oil. An instant replay of the call will be available until 16 February 2007 at +44 (0)20 7031 4064 for Europe and +1 954 334 0342 for the US, using access code 735104.