3 May 2013

Fall in profit at Z Energy

7:42 pm on 3 May 2013

Z Energy's profit more than halved for the full year because the value of its oil stocks fell as the company prepares itself for a potential listing. But underlying operating profit rose.

Net profit at the retail fuel company fell nearly 55% to $35 million for the year to March, compared with 77 million last year. The value of its oil stocks was down $31.5 million.

However underlying operating profit, which is its preferred measure, rose 13% to $195 million, compared with $172 million a year earlier.

Z Energy's chief executive, Mike Bennetts, says retail sales have been soft due to high pump prices, but its margins have improved.

"Total dollars are actually up - we're selling less volume at slightly higher unit margins.

"Because this is such a finely tuned business around margins, if your sales go down by 10% that's one thing but you only have to get yourmargins up by a couple of cents a litre and you've more than made up for that."

Earlier this week, Infratil, which part owns the company, announced it had appointed four investment banks as lead managers of the sale of its shares of the company, although it said it had not committed to the sale yet.