Fortum Profit Up 15% On Oil Product Rebound

Fortum, Finland's biggest utility and oil company, said that first quarter profit rose by fifteen percent because of one time gains and a rebound in sales of oil products, particularly in Russia and the Baltic states. Net income rose to 182 million euros ($162.6 million), or 21 cents a share, from 158 million euros, or 20 cents a share, a year ago, the company said in a statement from the Helsinki exchange. BP, the world's third largest publicly traded oil producer, said earlier this month that the refining industry in the first quarter was less profitable than at any time in the last decade. A thirty percent surge in oil prices and slump in demand crimped margins. “Refining and marketing margins were bad across Europe, still Fortum managed to make a profit,” said Paul van Eetvelt, an analyst with Delta Lloyd Securities in Antwerp “They are able to produce very clean oil products better than their competitors and have a better refining margin than their competitors.”

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