Thursday, 29 April 2021

INA's Q1 Net Profit HRK 50 Million

ZAGREB, 29 April, 2021 - INA posted the net profit of HRK 50 million in the first three months of 2021, according to the latest quarterly financial report released by this leading Croatian oil group on Thursday.

For the sake of comparison, in the Q1 2020, INA registered a loss of HRK 178 million.

In the first three months of 2021, the group's revenues totalled HRK 4.17 billion, rising by 0.6% on the year, whereas the expenditures contracted 19.7% to 4.11 billion kuna.

The statement reads that "the beginning of 2021 was marked by a more favorable external environment compared to 2020, which was one of the most challenging years for oil & gas industry."

"Although world economy is still far from recovery and demand is limited, impact of gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions is visible," it says.

"EBITDA reached HRK 467 million and Profit for the period amounted to HRK 50 million, in contrast with the losses in 2020 caused by a large drop in hydrocarbon prices and consequent negative inventory revaluation," INA reported in its financial statement.

"Exploration and production benefited from the increased hydrocarbon prices but natural decline continued with production level below 28 th boe/d, 12% lower compared to Q1 2020. This drove the segment’s EBITDA to HRK 401 million, 5% lower compared to Q1 2020."

In Q1 2021, INA entered a new concession in Egypt, following efforts to partly compensate for the natural decline of production on domestic fields.

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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Zagreb to Get First Hydrogen Buses in Two to Three Years

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Zagreb should in two to three years get its first 20 fuel cell buses in public transport, an investment worth €25 million, it was announced on Thursday at the signing of a cooperation agreement between INA and the City of Zagreb on the introduction of hydrogen in public city transport.

President of the Management Board at the ZET city transportation company, Ljuba Romčević-Žgela, said that the agreement was between the City of Zagreb and Ina, as well as the City and ZET, on further investments in alternative fuels, that is, the purchase of hydrogen buses.

The signatories of the agreement have undertaken to invest in alternative fuels. More specifically, it is about the procurement of 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses, and the construction of a hydrogen fuelling station at ZET's depot in Podsused is also planned.

Žgela expects that the project will be implemented in the next two to three years, with the first year being spent on the preparation of technical documentation.

Head of City Office for Economy, Energy and Environment Protection, Mirka Jozić, underscored that this was the first project to start mass application of hydrogen in Zagreb and Croatia.

"We are creating a new market for this energy source of the future. The estimated value of 20 hydrogen buses and supporting infrastructure is €25 million, and this will be financed by non-repayable EU funds," she said.

According to her, ZET's bus fleet today consists of 441 buses with an average age of 10.9, which cover a total of 29 million kilometres a year. Over the past few years, she said, the fleet has been modernised, so a good number of buses run on gas.

INA Management Board member Niko Dalić said that hydrogen was a clean fuel, with no harmful gases, and that hydrogen vehicles did not make noise. He is satisfied that ZET and Zagreb have recognised the advantage of hydrogen.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

INA-MOL Saga: Hungarians Seeking Far More Than Croatia is Offering

February the 20th, 2021 - The INA-MOL saga has oulived both the Agrokor (remember that?) and the fighter jet purchase sagas, and the Hungarians are now wanting much more than Croatia has to offer in that regard.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Hungarian MOL confirmed recently that talks with the Croatian Government about the INA-MOL saga, more precisely on the sale of a controlling stake in INA are continuing, and Bloomberg and Hina both quoted MOL CEO Jozsef Molnar as saying that their views on the price of that stake were "quite far apart".

In a recent conversation with analysts, held after the announcement of MOL's business results for last year, it was said that MOL was never against the agreement, but that wanted to sell its stake in INA at a price that would properly compensate it for its investments in the Croatian company.

If you haven't followed the INA-MOL saga in detail, the Hungarian MOL is otherwise the largest individual shareholder of INA, as it holds 49.1 percent of INA shares (4,908,207 shares), while the Croatian state holds 44.8 percent (4,483,552 shares), and private and institutional shareholders hold 6.1 percent of shares (608,241 shares).

Back in early February this year, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Coric said that talks were underway with MOL to buy out its stake in INA and that the whole story about the Croatian oil company should not be prolonged beyond the second half of this year.

At a press briefing held on February the 10th, he said that a series of meetings had been held to buy MOL's stake in INA and that the government had made its offer to buy MOL's stake in INA back in November last year, without providing any further details about the offer.

“Over the next few months, let's say over four to five months, we're going to have to know exactly which direction has been chosen. If the transaction is needed after that, it will all take some time,'' said Coric.

Coric also said that the direction that the Croatian Government doesn't support and which is not optimal for Croatia is to maintain the status quo, while from the beginning they've wanted an agreement to be reached between the Croatian Government and the Hungarian side on the purchase of shares in INA.

The latter direction potentially includes a third party, in the sense that the Hungarian side leaves the ownership of INA entirely and is replaced by someone else. In addition, if the Hungarian side is ready to sell its shares in INA, there is an option for Croatia to buy them itself, ie through an arrangement of legal entities from Croatia, which would certainly, at least in one sense, affect the increase of public debt, which was not the Government's wish.

As a third option, if no agreement is reached on the purchase price in the INA-MOL saga, he stated that the agreement would then in the direction of redefining the relationship between the partners within INA, in a way that would see a balanced relationship between the two shareholders, including positions in the company's management, with all of the accompanying obligations and rights implied.

It's worth mentioning that back at the end of 2016, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that the Croatia Government had decided to buy MOL's entire stake in INA, after Croatia lost the lawsuit against MOL before the arbitration court of the United Nations  UN) Commission for International Trade Law in Geneva.

An investment advisor in that transaction, the consulting company Lazard, presented a preliminary report on the in-depth survey of INA's business and its value in June last year, and in September 2020, a final report on the assessment of INA's value was made.

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Monday, 4 January 2021

Strongest Croatian Brands Survived and Succeeded After Independence

January 4, 2020 – A map showing production across the former Yugoslavia details the sustained prosperity of many Croatian favourites as some of the strongest Croatian brands are shown not only to have survived but have succeeded following independence

Media across Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia have surprised younger readers and reminded older readers with the publication of a map detailing production in the former Yugoslavia. While this trip down memory lane has caused a range of reactions across the countries of the former republic, looking at the map from a purely Croatian perspective gives some enlightening information. Namely, many of the strongest Croatian brands visible on the map are recognisable today. Some of the strongest Croatian brands not only survived independence but have since grown.
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Bajadera - one of the most popular products made by Zagreb-based chocolate and confectionery manufacturers Kraš

Zagreb-based chocolate and confectionery manufacturers Kraš, Požega-based confectionery and drinks manufacturers Zvečevo, oil company INA, Koprivnica-based food company Podravka and Koprivnica-based pharmaceuticals company Belupo, vitamin drink Cedevita, Varaždin-based food company Vindija, Vukovar shoemakers Borovo, Varaždin clothes designers and manufacturers Varteks and multi-use condiment Vegeta are just some of the strongest Croatian brands that are present on the map. You are still likely to see these brand names on many Croatian high streets. Some have succeeded in reaching further into international markets since Croatian independence.

1440xauto_1474445556Vegeta_SAD_1_kg.jpgCroatian-made condiment Vegeta is sold all over the world

Of course, not every brand visible on the map of Yugoslavia production has fared so well. In their coverage of the map, Ri.portal reminds that “Some of the Yugoslav products were used by literally the whole world - ships, cars, planes, trucks, weapons and even computers were produced... However, many of these companies no longer exist or are bankrupt.”

In their coverage of the map, Bosnian website Klix reminds that Croatian shipyards Uljanik in Pula and 3 Maj in Rijeka were at world level and produced large ships for customers from all over the world. Split-based shipyard Brodosplit, which can also be seen on the map, survives to this day.
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Croatian vitamin drink Cedevita comes in a range of flavours

Ri.portal goes on to remember that Yugoslavia was one of only five countries in Europe at the time that manufactured its own computers. “Probably the most famous is the Galaxy, while the first computer produced was the CER-10,” they say. One of the Yugoslav computer makers on the map, popular in the late 1970s, was Digitron, based in Buje in Istria.

Sadly, not all of the strongest Croatian brands have made it until today. Famous tractor and agriculture equipment manufacturer Tomo Vinković of Bjelovar is no longer in production. Their famously-reliable machines are much in-demand on the secondhand market. Two new tractor manufacturers, Hittner doo and the Prima tractor factory still make tractors in Bjelovar.

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Saturday, 2 January 2021

INA Donates 2.5 Million Kuna to Croatian Earthquake Relief Efforts

January the 2nd, 2021 - The Petrinja earthquake caused tremendous devastation, material damage and tragically - the loss of life. The Croatian earthquake relief funds set up to rebuild the affected central Croatian areas as quickly as possible have seen multiple generous donations.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the INA Group was actively involved in providing the necessary assistance to the earthquake-affected areas, it has now decided to provide assistance with an additional 2,500,000 kuna. The funds will be donated to the earthquake-affected areas across Sisak-Moslavina County, and part of the funds will be directed to the reconstruction of the "Dr. Ivo Pedisic'' General Hospital which is located in Sisak.

In addition, the INA Group handed over some of its storage facilities in Sisak to the Civil Protection Headquarters. In this way, additional space is being provided for receiving humanitarian aid arriving in the earthquake-affected areas, which will greatly assist the competent services in the redistribution of aid to those who are most in need.

In addition, INA provided several days of fuel and gas cylinders for emergency services through INA cards to the Directorate of Civil Protection in Petrinja, which is coordinating the activities of the field services and units of the National Association of Caterers, who are preparing meals for the local population, the emergency services, members of the Red Cross and numerous volunteers who are working day and night out in the field. The fuel was donated in the same way to the HGSS (Croatian Mountain Rescue Service), which will deliver it to the affected population.

At INA's retail outlets in Sisak, Petrinja, Lekenik and Galdovo, free coffee and water was provided for the police, medical staff, professional and volunteer firefighters, members of the Civil Protection Headquarters, the Red Cross, HGSS and the Croatian army.

INA employees continue to show how big their hearts are by organising themselves and collecting the necessary humanitarian aid at locations in Rijeka, Zagreb and Ivanic-Grad, which will be delivered to the Croatian Red Cross, and some colleagues are using official cars to distribute this aid to the population or to assist machines in rebuilding activities.

After the first two mobile homes, an additional two were sent to Glina and the surrounding areas to ensure a safe roof over the heads of families whose homes were destroyed in the quake. Hotel Crosca in Ivanic-Grad has so far accommodated seven people and is available until its capacities are filled.

In its continued generosity to the Croatian earthquake efforts, INA Maziva also donated 620 litres of the necessary INA Dezinol disinfectant and larger quantities of INA Dezinol Plus disinfectant wipes, which will be distributed to the earthquake-affected areas via the Red Cross.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake and the ongoing Croatian earthquake relief efforts, follow our dedicated section.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Students from Sisak Technical School Created a Solar Tree for INA's Gas Station

October 16, 2020 – Students from Sisak Technical School created a solar tree and presented it at INA's gas station in Sisak on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Now, customers and passers-by will be able to charge their mobile devices and tablets.

As Hina reports, the project of making this solar tree was financed by Croatian Oil Company (INA) as part of the development of innovative, professional, and communication skills of Sisak Technical School students. By making this device, students promote the possibilities of using renewable energy sources.

In addition to the successful acquisition of competencies in this project, the idea was to bring the design closer to the basic elements of wood.

The solar tree has six leaves designed after the oak leaf, and each leaf is fitted with 50 W photovoltaic cells. The rest of the photovoltaic system equipment, regulator, fuses, and battery are located in the lower part intended for sitting and resting. The solar tree has a built-in LED lighting, which lights up automatically in the evening.

 

 

 

"The cooperation between the Technical School Sisak and INA lasts for years through various projects, from support in the traditional solar car race to the development of a functional model of ion engine and solar tree. In this way we actively participate in developing student competencies and their professional skills and help shape future engineers and experts," said the director of the Sisak Oil Refinery, Damir Butković.

This is not the first example of tree-shaped solar chargers in Croatia. The cities of Karlovac and Ludbreg have similar installations.

 

One of many successful projects

Professor Stevče Arsoski, the initiator of these and many other school projects, said that this is only the last project of several successful joint projects. As he said, about ten students were engaged in the production of this solar tree, and the project was also the graduation work of student Leon Milinović.

"I think the earlier project of a functional model of an ion engine deserves equal attention, which, as an innovation, was completed in June. Although we were writing about this project on the website, we are waiting for the first opportunity to present it live. The final grade students Dino Terman and Mihael Pavlin, who are now in college, were especially engaged in this project. On this occasion, I must thank INA, who is already our permanent partner, for financial assistance," said Professor Arsoski, adding that they are already preparing new joint projects with INA.

"I am looking forward to the new innovative projects that the school is planning, and INA will be happy to join them," said INA's director Butković.

 

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Friday, 28 August 2020

The Workers Front Party Calls for Support to Sisak Oil Refinery Workers

ZAGREB, August 28, 2020 - The Workers Front (RF) party on Friday called for support to workers of the Sisak Oil Refinery, which is part of the INA oil company, stressing that they were being intimidated.

The party said that the workers had turned to RF MP Katarina Peovic, warning that they were being intimidated by the company management after the RF earlier published a list with the names of the workers to be laid off, which it had received from the workers.

The party said that the workers had gone public with an authentic document with the names of redundant workers, which the management considers disclosure of a trade secret.

It said that "the owners of INA are the ones who have violated agreements and and laws and who disrespect previous agreements with the Croatian government, under which the Sisak refinery should not be closed down, but which, judging by all accounts, will happen sooner or later."

It was the workers' duty to expose that fraud, the RF said, accusing the government of allowing the layoffs and threats to Sisak refinery workers.

 

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

INA's Layoffs Decision Is Business Decision, Says Minister

ZAGREB, Aug 26, 2020 - Economy Minister Tomislav Coric said on Wednesday INA's decision to lay off 250 workers was a business decision, and that INA recently submitted a proposal to the Strategic Projects Commission to declare the Sisak biorefinery a strategic project.

Asked by the press to comment on the announcement that 250 INA workers would lose their jobs, Coric said there was no satisfaction if people lost their jobs at the end of a process of transformation, but that INA's business decisions of several years ago were going in that direction.

"The thing that we can express satisfaction about, is that the workers are leaving with relatively favorable severance packages."

The oil company said earlier this week that, given the circumstances of operating during a pandemic, the INA Group began organizational changes and that the restructuring would cover a maximum of 250 workers. This news has caused great concern in the town of Sisak and the Sisak refinery, whose workers have warned that the layoffs would halve the refinery's staff.

Asked about the layoffs, Coric said the company's direction was its decision and that the global oil business was in trouble because of the coronavirus and other circumstances.

He said he was pleased that INA's proposal to declare the biorefinery in Sisak a strategic project, was recently submitted to the Strategic Projects Commission.

We are pleased about that because I think that the direction which INA is taking in fact - a sustainable, green direction - is the right one, Coric added.

INA council to discuss Lazard's final report soon

The minister said the government received Lazard's final report on INA. The company is the government's advisor on the possible buy-back of MOL's stake in INA.

He added, however, that the make-up of the council on negotiations with MOL on the possible purchase changed last week. "In the weeks ahead, that report will be presented to the council members and then we will go a step further."

Asked if the political decision to buy back the stake was still on, Coric said the government decided to do that in 2016 and that the decision was confirmed in the HDZ's platform for this year's parliamentary election.

"We will try to enter into talks with the other side, present our offer and try and restore Croatia's ownership of INA."

A member of the press remarked that consultants said the buyback was not worth it. Coric said that he did not have that information.

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Friday, 17 July 2020

INA General Assembly Asked to Okay Dividend Payment in Amount of HRK 622.7m

ZAGREB, July 17, 2020 - The General Shareholders’ Assembly of INA, a leading oil and gas company in Croatia, is scheduled for 26 August with the proposal for dividend payment in the amount of HRK 622.7 million on the agenda, that is HRK 62.27 per share, according to invitations sent on Friday for the general assembly.

In late March, INA's management and supervisory boards decided on a dividend payment from the oil and gas company's 2019 net profit which totalled HRK 656 million while the sum to be allocated for dividend payment is HRK 622.7 million, which means HRK 62.77 per share.

The unofficial calculation of the amount earned through dividend payment shows that Hungary's MOL, which holds slightly above 4.9 million shares in INA, can count on HRK 305.6  million, whereas the Croatian government holds 4.48 million shares, and can earn thus HRK 279.2 million.

On 30 April, three major trade unions in the INA group asked Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to get INA owners - the government and the Hungarian oil company MOL - to give up the payment of the dividend for 2019.

(€1 = HRK 7.526037)

Saturday, 4 July 2020

INA Generates Highest Revenue in 2019, HEP Highest Profit

ZAGREB, July 4, 2020 - The INA oil company generated the highest revenue (HRK 21.6 billion) among Croatian enterprises in 2019, the HEP power company generated the highest profit (HRK 1.1 bn) and the Konzum retail chain had the highest number of employees (9,362), according to a preliminary analysis by the Fina financial agency.

Fina processed annual financial statements submitted by June 30 by 131,701 enterprises that pay profit tax, excluding banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

The preliminary analysis (not all statements have been processed) shows that last year enterprises generated nearly HRK 790 billion in consolidated revenues, up 7.9% in 2018, while expenditures reached nearly HRK 752 billion, up 8.1%.

Profits totalled HRK 48.5 billion and were generated by 88,006 enterprises, while losses stood at HRK 18.6 billion and were reported by 43,695 enterprises.

Net profits totalled HRK 29.9 billion and were 1.9% higher than in 2018.

The enterprises whose statements have been processed had 958,430 employees in 2019, up 4.8% on the year. Their average net salary was HRK 5,765, up 3% on the year.

Export revenues were generated by 18,991 enterprises, totalling HRK 124.6 billion, up 6.2% from 2018, while imports totalled HRK 121.5 billion. The trade deficit was HRK 3.2 billion.

Last year enterprises invested HRK 22.3 billion in long-term assets, up 14% from 2018.

(€1 = HRK 7.56)

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