1Q: S-Oil Down, Fuchs Stable


Fuchs Petrolub unveiled a slight dip in first quarter sales and little change in net income over last years first quarter numbers, while S-Oil reported steep plunges in revenue and operating income.

Revenue for S-Oil shrank 31.3 percent to 432.8 billion South Korean won (U.S. $394.2 million) for the quarter ending March 31, from 630.1 billion won in the year-earlier period. Operating income for the South Korean base oil refiner plummeted 86.6 percent to 14.2 billion won, compared to 105.9 billion won in 2012s first quarter.

In its quarterly earnings report, the company noted it strengthened domestic sales to cope with sluggish demand in overseas markets. S-Oil said in its earnings presentation it is optimistic about the outlook for the second half of 2013, anticipating a surge in demand for industrial and automotive lubricants, which would result in an upward trend in line with the recovery of the global economy.

S-Oils Onsan, South Korea, refinery has 15,000 b/d API Group III, 20,000 b/d of Group II and 500 b/d of Group I capacity.

Fuchs Petrolub Group reported a marginal increase in net income, posting 51.6 million (U.S. $67.7 million) for the first quarter of 2013, compared to 51.4 million in the year-earlier quarter. The development of earnings shows that Fuchs global position and growth initiative are having a positive effect, Fuchs Chairman of the Executive Board Stefan Fuchs pointed out.

The independent lubricant blenders first quarter sales also remained virtually unchanged, reaching 442 million, down 1.4 percent from 2012s first quarter. In the first quarter, revenue rose 0.7 percent to 265.3 million in Europe, which Fuchs attributed to a strengthening euro. Fuchs revenue dropped 1 percent to 117.7 million in Asia-Pacific and Africa. The largest regional drop Fuchs reported was in North and South America, where sales declined 5.3 percent to 75.6 million, which Fuchs partly attributed to a weaker business environment in the United States.

Europe achieved encouraging results in a difficult environment, while the Asia-Pacific, Africa region recorded organic growth, Fuchs said in the report, mentioning that Fuchs is continuing its growth strategy and will start production at new facilities in Russia and China later this year.

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