Crude Hampers Base Oil Profits; Results Mixed for Indian Lubes


Narrowing base oil margins caused weak to poor second-quarter results for SK Lubricants, S-Oil and the Hyundai Oilbank-Shell joint venture. GP Petroleums also had lower profits for the period ended June 30, while earnings rose at Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. and Savita Oil Technologies.

SK Lubricants

SK Innovation said in a July 27 earnings report that itsbase oil and lubricants segmentearned126.1 billion won (U.S.$112.8 million) of operating profit in the second quarter. That was4.9 percent morethan the same period of 2017, but16.7 billion won, or 13 percent of the operating profit, was gain from inventory evaluation.

Quarterlysales increased 8.1 percent to817.9 billion won, up from 756.8 billion won a year earlier.

Despite the hike in crude price, wecould realize a modest increase in operating profit with efforts to boostsales volume and expandthe sales ratio of high value-added products, SK said in awritten statement.

The spread between API Group I 150 solvent neutral base oil and gas oil narrowed to$16.7per barrel during the second quarter, down from $34.2 during the same period last year, according to the South Korean energy giant.


S-Oilreported that its base oil business had second quarter operating income of80.9 billion won, a37.5 percent slumpfrom129.4 billion won ayear ago.Revenue rose 3.4 percent to 419.7 billion won.

Lube base oil spreads went down as the product price lags behind the rise of feed stock prices and major players in the region resume[d] supply after regular maintenance, the Seoul-based refiner explained.

The company added that it does not expect the situation to improve quickly. Demand would become less strong entering into [the] low season, it said. But the spread would maintain at second quarter level reflecting heightened feedstock prices.

Hyundai Oilbank-Shell

The operating profit for Hyundai Oilbank-Shells base oil business declined despite improved sales.Operating profit dropped 36.3 percent to 26.1 billion won, holding company Hyundai said in its quarterly earnings report.Salesgrew 10.9 percentto 201.1 billion won, upfrom 181.2 billion won.

Profit decreased as the rise in the crude price raised the feedstock price, leading to the decrease in the lube base oil spread, the company reported.

Gulf Oil

Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. said first-quarter net profit increased 17 percent year on year to Rs 40.1 crore (Rs 401 million or U.S. $5.8 million), as higher volumes boosted sales.

Revenue from operations increased 39 percent to Rs 390.4 crore as the lubricant maker witnessed sales volume growth of 33 percent, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement.

Total expenses increased 19 percent to Rs 335.2 crore, while tax expenses rose about 21 percent to Rs 21.7 crore during the period.

The market demand conditions have been good, and this momentum coupled with our various initiatives around distribution, brand building and new customer acquisition have helped us grow volumes across all our focus segments, Managing Director Ravi Chawla stated.

Gulf Oil said it recorded more than 25 percent volume growth in diesel engine oils and motorcycle engine oils, while the growth in the passenger car motor oil segment exceeded 30 percent. Original equipment manufacturer factory-fill and industrial distributor segments also showed high growth, it added.

The lubricant marketer, part of Hinduja Group, said it continued to invest aggressively in its brands and re-launched its leading motorcycle oil brand, Gulf Pride 4T Plus, in a new pack in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The company is now transitioning to the new pack in the rest of the country as well, it added.

The company said it continued with its program of oil change camps in the farming segment in rural areas and engagement with tractor-owners and mechanics across India. The company noted that its Gulf Unnati retailer loyalty program called continued to gain traction among top retail partners as it showed a double-digit growth during the quarter.

GP Petroleums

GP Petroleums Ltd. reported its first-quarter net profit declined 6 percent year on year to Rs 3.27 crore, hurt by higher expenses and taxes.

The Ipol-branded lubricants supplier said total expenses increased nearly 72 percent to Rs 161.79 crore and current taxes rose 15 percent to Rs 2.29 crore in the quarter that ended June 30.

Revenue from operations jumped about 68 percent to Rs 167 crore, thanks to higher sales from manufacturing and trading segments, according to the Mumbai-based companys regulatory filing.

Savita Oil

Savita Oil Technologies said first-quarter operating profit for its petroleum products segment rose 4 percent year on year to Rs 33.5 crore.

Standalone revenue for the segment – which supplies transformer oils, white oils, liquid paraffins, automotive and industrial lubricants, coolants and waxes – increased nearly 18 percent to Rs 533.8 crore.

The Mumbai-based company – its two key business segments are petroleum products and renewable energy – reported that total revenue from operations increased 18 percent to Rs 542.4 crore.

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