Polish gas monopoly PGNiG posts strong 3Q gains

AP News
Posted: Nov 12, 2009 5:29 AM

Poland's gas and oil monopoly, PGNiG, posted a better-than-expected third quarter net profit of 408 million zlotys ($148 million), as lower prices for imported gas improved its profit margins, the company said Thursday.

The results mark the company's first net profit since the third quarter of 2008, when it posted a net profit of 180 million zlotys ($65 million).

The results were 7 percent above economists' predictions, the state-run company said citing a survey carried out by the Polish news agency PAP earlier this month.

PGNiG, or Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo, imports the bulk of the gas it sells in Poland, with Russia its primary supplier.

It said imported gas costs dropped 29 percent in the quarter, leading to higher profit margins.

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That helped offset a decline in sales, caused by the economic slowdown and higher than usual temperatures in September, PGNiG said in a statement.

PGNiG said its own year-on-year gas production rose by 11 percent following an increase in the processing capacity of its nitrogen removal facility.