Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiu Nafta) has announced that it will set up a fully-owned subsidiary for marketing and wholesale sales of its oil products.
The oil refinery, which is majority-owned by Russia's Yukos, is set to invest 5.7 million litas (1.6 million euros) into Trading House of Mazeikiu Nafta, which will be responsible for marketing and execution of sales of the refinery's light oil products, liquid gas, fuel oil and bitumen in the Baltics and Poland.
Mazeikiu Nafta reported to the National Stock Exchange that the company's management board made the investment decision on April 30.
The press earlier reported that Trading House of Mazeikiu Nafta will sell around 40 percent of oil products made by the Lithuanian refinery.
Currently Mazeikiu Nafta exports around 55 percent of its production via Baltic ports through its distribution partner, the Swiss-registered company Petroval.
It sells a part of its oil products to the Ukrainian market as well.
Last week Mazeikiu Nafta announced a preliminary unaudited net profit of 115.8 million litas (33.5 million euros) for the first quarter of 2003 based on U.S.-based Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Under the Lithuanian accounting principles, the company's earnings for the first three months of 2003 amounted to 140.2 million litas.
Revenues for the first quarter came to 1.4 billion litas, a 61.3 percent increase from revenues of 866 million litas reported for the first three months of 2002.
Paul Nelson English, CEO of Mazeikiu Nafta, said the company's financial results for the first quarter reflected both the refinery's successful reforms and favorable trends in Europe's oil and oil product market.
"The company's financial performance results were favorably affected by stable operations of the crude oil refinery, increased oil transportation volumes and higher oil refining margins," English said in a statement.
The refinery, in northwestern Lithuania, processed nearly 1.8 million tons of crude oil in the first quarter of 2003, some 300,000 tons more than in the same period last year.
The company's Butinge crude oil terminal handled 2.7 million tons of oil in the first three months of this year, compared to 91,200 tons in the first quarter of 2002.
The Lithuanian government currently owns a 40.66 percent stake in the company.