In Q4/18 OMV Petrom benefited from increased demand for electricity and fuels as well as higher commodity prices compared to Q4/17, while the refining margin continued the downward trend in Q4/18, a company release informes on Wednesday.
“The full year 2018 Clean CCS Operating Result reached RON 4.8 bn, with Upstream contributing about two thirds. Upstream benefitted from better realized prices and lower OPEX, depreciation and exploration expenses, offsetting the impact of production decline. The Downstream Oil result reflects our strong sales performance, partly compensating the impact of the refinery turnaround in Q2/18 and the lower refining margin. The Downstream Gas result improved, supported by higher availability of the Brazi power plant and increasing number of end-customers. All the above led to an operating cash flow of RON 7.4 bn in 2018, 24% up yoy. During the year, we ramped up investments to RON 4.3 bn, mostly in Upstream. We drilled 110 wells, performed around 1,000 workovers and we brought our currently top producing oil well into production following a successful offshore campaign. As planned, we also invested in major Downstream projects: the Petrobrazi refinery turnaround, the Polyfuel project and the fuel storage modernization. We paid dividends of RON 1.1 bn; our free cash flow after dividends came in at RON 2 bn.
Based on the preliminary results and strong free cash flow achieved in 2018, the Executive Board proposes a dividend of RON 0.0270/share for the 2018 financial year, 35% up yoy, implying a 38% payout ratio. The final dividend proposal is to be submitted for approval by both the Supervisory Board and the subsequent April 2019 GMS.
Recent regulatory instability has led us to revisit our growth investment plans, while we seek clarity on the Romanian investment climate. We plan CAPEX of around RON 3.7 bn for 2019, with the majority routed to Upstream. Our focus remains on extracting the highest value from the existing Upstream portfolio, thus we estimate the daily average production decline to be contained at around 5% yoy, excluding portfolio optimization,” the release reads.