26 Aug 2013

Refining NZ plans new strategy

8:05 am on 26 August 2013

The New Zealand Refining Company is planning a new strategy aimed at helping it to remain competitive in a volatile environment.

The company managed to turn around its first-half loss last year, to make a net profit of $5.2 million for the six months to the end of June.

It says this reflects improving margins but the recovery in refining margins will probably be short-lived and the high New Zealand dollar continues to hurt the company.

Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post says the company is not sitting on its hands and has done a lot of work on strategy over the last few months.

He says Refining NZ's engineers have developed creative ideas about how to create more money, while the company has also looked at its costs.

"On a net profit basis over the coming year we think that we can improve our performance by something of the order of $26 million net profit by taking $8 million worth of costs out on a net profit basis and increasing our income by about $18 million on a net profit basis."

Mr Post says the company is pretty confident and the revenue generation ideas will be implemented over the coming months. Costs are being taken out and it is talking to its contractors.

He says Refining NZ should save about $4 million a year after renegotiating its contract for the natural gas and electricity it uses to fire its plant.

Mr Post says another $4 million a year was saved after the company approached its contractors and suggested they look at their rates.

He says the company is also reducing its staff numbers by 2014, although it is likely to be through attrition.