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)

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

INA Seeks Strategic Investment Status for Sisak Biorefinery Project

ZAGREB, June 23, 2020 - INA has submitted a request to the Ministry of Economy for the Sisak biorefinery project to be awarded strategic investment status, the oil company said in a press release on Tuesday.

The investment is worth €250 million, and part of that is expected to be covered from the EU Innovations Funds.

INA said that despite the challenging business climate, it is continuing strategic projects and the transformation of the Sisak refinery complex into an industrial centre. One of the activities in Sisak would be to develop a biorefinery thanks to which the company could produce second-generation bioethanol from biomass along with producing green energy.

In February, INA signed an agreement with the French AXENS group related to Futurol technology. At the end of last year, it also signed an agreement with the Belgian De Smet Engineers & Contractors to design the relevant base facility and its integration in the existing refinery structure.

INA has conducted testing of a mix of biomass as part of the EU GRACE (Growing Advanced Industrial Crops on Marginal Lands for Biorefineries), which has produced good results for the production of second-generation bioethanol.

The president of INA's management board, Sandor Fasimon, said that the project of developing a biorefinery is in accordance with the company's business plans and proof of INA's dedication to its "New Direction" programme.

The Sisak complex is important to INA's business and all the activities we are taking are a precondition for making a final investment decision. Support from the EU and the Croatian government is a key precondition to finally realise this significant project for Croatia and INA which entirely fits into Europe's Green Deal energy strategy, Fasimon underscored.

INA's New Direction 2023 programme foresees concentrating oil production at the Rijeka Refinery and transforming the Sisak complex into an industrial center. In addition to the biorefinery component, other alternative locations in Sisak include the production of bitumen, which should be operational in the first half of 2021 and followed by the production of lubricants for which a feasibility study is being conducted.

INA also plans a logistics centre and currently a budget for the centre's construction is being prepared as well as applying for a building permit for a solar electricity plant, the company said.

INA recalled that works at the Rijeka Refinery are also underway for the construction of a heavy residue refining unit worth €533.3 million.

In June a test run for a propane-propylene unit valued at €73.3 million was conducted, which is a valuable product in the petrochemical industry, INA said.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

INA Donates Enormous Sums to Zagreb Cultural, Scientific Institutions

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of June, 2020, the funding has been provided to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. INA has so far donated more than 1,500,000 kuna to the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and repair the damage caused by the Zagreb earthquake that struck the capital back in March.

Through its daily operations and socially responsible behaviour, INA continues to be a partner and support for the community. Aware of the difficult situation in which the historic core of the city of Zagreb found itself after the devastating earthquake, INA decided to donate an additional 800,000 kuna to the aforementioned institutions.

"On behalf of all members of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and myself, I'd like to sincerely thank you for the generous donation you sent us, which we really need in these difficult times. By supporting the highest Croatian scientific and artistic institution, INA, as one of the historically leading companies in Croatia, has once again expressed its social responsibility by providing an inspiring example of solidarity and friendship. We truly appreciate your valuable and quick help, which will be invaluable in the restoration of the Academy's property,'' said Academician Velimir Neidhardt, President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which owns damaged buildings located in the historic protected part of town.

"On my own behalf and on behalf of all employees of MUO, and I'm convinced that I speak on behalf of the entire cultural public, I'd like to express my gratitude to INA for the valuable donation that will be an incentive for us, despite all of the adversity, to equip the museum building for visitors and continue with important programmes to preserve the cultural identity of us all. Thank you, INA, for recognising our efforts and vision to restore the splendor of one of the oldest fundamental national cultural institutions in the Croatia, the Museum of Arts and Crafts,'' said Miroslav Gasparovic, the director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts, which was closed to the public due to severe damage caused by the Zagreb earthquake.

"Thank you for your contribution to enable us to return the possibility of re-exhibiting archeological material to the citizens of the City of Zagreb and the general public as soon as possible. We believe that with the help and support, we'll be able to restore the permanent display we had before the earthquake struck, improve the presentation and ensure the safety of our visitors. We'd like especially thank you for recognising the urgency of the action, which enabled us to start as soon as possible with interventions in the rehabilitation of the building, restoration and other interventions,'' said the director of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Sanjin Mihelic.

The Vranyczany-Hafner Palace, built back in 1879 and which has housed the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb since 1945, has been given the yellow label "temporarily unusable" and the museum is closed to visitors due to earthquake damage.

"The oil and gas industry has been affected by the crisis, which isn't something that has bypassed INA either. We're adjusting our business and we've been forced to revise our investment plans, but even in such a situation, in INA and the entire MOL Group, we're aware of the need to invest in the quality of life of the society in which we live and work. Residents of Zagreb, as well as numerous institutions in the protected historical core that were destroyed in the earthquake, are facing difficult circumstances. It's our duty to help, because this is the moment when we can show that together we're stronger than a natural disaster. INA has been on this path for years and continuously provides support to scientific, cultural and artistic institutions, and we're going to continue to do so in the future,'' said INA CEO Sandor Fasimon.

In order to help repair the damage caused by the earthquake that hit Zagreb, INA donated 250,000 kuna to the "Together for Zagreb" campaign and a further 100,000 kuna to the Children's Clinic in Zagreb back in April.

In addition, 250,000 kuna was donated to the ''Dr Fran Mihaljevic'' Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Health Centre in order to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. 100,000 kuna was donated to the Dr. Ivo Pedisic General Hospital in Sisak and the Red Cross.

The Special Hospital for Childrens' Chronic Diseases in Gornja Bistra and the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine were donated 50,000 kuna each, the Rebro Pediatric Oncology Foundation was provided with a donation of 200,000 kuna, with the Pula General Hospital also receiving 100,000 kuna.

In addition, INA donated 50,000 kuna to the Kamensko Association, which sews cotton masks, while 10,000 kuna was donated to the Rudjer Boskovic Technical School in Vinkovci to make visors on 3D printers that the school then donated to Croatian hospitals. INA also helped supply the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia with a deficient surface disinfectant by donating 720 litres of INA Denizol, a new product produced by INA MAZIVA, which was also donated to the Zagreb Homes for the Elderly.

Corporate responsibility and social engagement are an integral part of INA's business operations and are part of a long tradition focused on social and economic progress. The preservation of the cultural public good is certainly one of the key features for the further development of our society.

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Thursday, 18 June 2020

INA Donates HRK 800 K Each To 3 Cultural Institutions Damaged In Earthquake

ZAGREB, June 18, 2020 - The INA oil company has donated a total of HRK 2.4 million to three cultural and scientific institutions, with each receiving HRK 800,000 to repair the damage caused by a destructive earthquake that struck Zagreb in March this year.

The Croatian Academy of Science and Arts (HAZU), Museum of Arts and Crafts (MUO) and Archaeological Museum on Thursday each received the donations in the HAZU palace, which too was damaged in the quake.

INA CEO Sandor Fasimon presented the donations to HAZU president Velimir Neidhardt, MUO director Miroslav Gasparovic and the director of the Archaeological Museum, Sanjin Mihelic.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Skoro: There Are Better Solutions in Energy Than Buying MOL's Stake in INA

ZAGREB, June 11, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro said on Thursday he did not agree with the government's plan to buy MOL's stake in INA because he explained in Bjelovar, that money could be used for much better solutions that would increase Croatia's energy independence.

He described the sale of Croatian oil company INA as a process "in which a number of governments took part and which has caused irreversible damage to Croatia."

The Hungarian stake in INA has been estimated at HRK 16-17 billion and I believe that Croatia can make much better solutions in the energy sector for that money, Skoro told reporters.

"No one can buy Croatian oil sources, they can only get a concession. We import 40% of energy, yet we don't consider hydro-electric power plants as energy sources but have wind parks... We won't run further into debt to procure energy."

Skoro said the introduction of the euro should be put to a referendum, criticised the government's tax policy, saying foreign investors had a rule called Anything But Croatia and said he would join the March for Life.

He said the focus of his visit to Bjelovar was agriculture. "We live in a country which isn't sovereign in many areas, notably in the agriculture and food sector. The crisis caused by coronavirus gives us the opportunity to change a policy which is concentrated on trade and imports because we can feed not only Croatia but a much larger region too."

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Council For INA: Final Report From Lazard Expected In a Month

ZAGREB, June 10, 2020 - The financial advisory firm Lazard has presented a due diligence report on the INA oil company to the Council for INA, a final report is expected in about a month, and the first meeting with executives of the Hungarian oil group MOL is expected by the end of this month, Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric said on Wednesday.

"The Council for INA today received the first preliminary report on due diligence from our consultant, Lazard. A final report is expected within a month. What follows is intense communication with the other party and in that context, we expect the first meeting with MOL by the end of the month," Coric told reporters after a meeting of the Council for INA.

He said they were "pleased with the work done." He did not reveal details of the report, saying that INA was listed on the stock exchange and that this "narrowed the government's maneuvering space."

The Council meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, and Lazard's representatives took part by video conference.

The Council for INA is a government advisory body established in January 2017 with the task of providing guidance and proposing measures and decisions for the preparation, implementation, and financing of the possible buyback of MOL's stake in INA.

MOL is the single largest shareholder in INA with 49.1% of shares, while the Croatian government holds 44.8%. The remaining 6.1% is held by private and institutional shareholders.

Prime Minister Plenkovic said in late 2016 that the government had decided to regain control of INA by buying back MOL's entire stake. The decision came after Croatia had lost an arbitration case it had initiated against MOL before the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Geneva.

The government selected the Anglo-French investment bank Lazard as a consultant in August 2019.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

INA, JANAF Comment On Memorandum Of Understanding

ZAGREB, May 26, 2020 - The INA oil company and the JANAF oil pipeline operator on Tuesday commented on an article in Nacional weekly which claims it obtained a secret memorandum between the two companies whereby the prime minister allows the export of Croatian oil to Hungary and that the document undermines national interests.

The INA-JANAF memorandum of understanding is a non-binding document signed on 21 August 2018 with the goal of creating prerequisites for the adoption of business decisions which ensure greater profitability and the viability of INA's refining and thereby the whole company, INA said in a press release in response to the Nacional article.

JANAF responded too, saying in a press release that its management was planning and undertaking business activities aimed at increasing the company's revenue and profit as well as reducing and consolidating expenses.

INA explained the memorandum also in the context of its INA R&M New Direction 2023 program, which was launched in 2018 and which envisages concentrating oil processing in the Rijeka refinery and transforming the Sisak location into an industrial hub.

INA said the memorandum envisaged a better optimization of oil transport between JANAF's Sisak terminal and INA's Sisak refinery to enable selling oil at market prices and generating greater economic value. Oil from Croatian fields is processed at the Rijeka refinery and part of it is sold at market prices, INA said, adding that the Rijeka refinery processed more effectively 20% more oil than before and that the quantities covered Croatia's requirements. 

Saturday, 9 May 2020

INA Makes Generous Donation to SOS Children's Village Croatia

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of May, 2020, INA has made yet another generous donation, following the large donation it gave to various Croatian health institutions a few weeks ago as part of the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). 

INA has stated that helping out those who are the most in need motives and drives them, and as such, INA has continued its long-term cooperation with SOS Children's Village Croatia (SOS Dječje selo) in these challenging times we're facing. The company donated 130,000 kuna for the project "Our first 10 years - Stay at home in SOS Children's Village Croatia/Naših prvih 10 godina – Ostani doma u SOS Dječjem selu Hrvatska).''

Thanking INA for the generous donation, Mr. Zoran Relic, director of SOS Children's Village Ladimirevci said: "The month of May in our Children's Village in Ladimirevci is the happiest month because we're celebrating a birthday, and none of these birthdays over the last 10 years has passed without our friends from INA. INA's monetary donation, corporate volunteering to help maintain the infrastructure, Christmas gifts for the children of their own choosing, which INA's employees lovingly bought them, make growing up safer and happier for our kids. We'd like to thank you for ten years of loyalty and support. We stayed at home, and thanks to INA for staying with us!''

In addition to financial support, children in the care of the SOS Children's Village Croatia receivedsweets and cotton protective masks sewn by members of the Kamensko association, which has also become a partner of INA during the crisis caused by the pandemic.

INA's CEO Sándor Fasimon said: ''Even in these difficult times, when we're facing a pandemic and we're threatened by an economic crisis, we're not giving up on fulfilling our responsible role in society. We have always been with those who need help the most and we're proud that for many years we've been able to help children from the SOS Children's Village Croatia in order to more easily achieve quality conditions for creating a caring home for every child. At the moment, that is needed more than it ever was before,''

Adapting the daily lives of 240 children and young people in the care of SOS Children's Village Croatia to the situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak requires additional effort and the necessary resources to be made readily available. Hygiene measures for the prevention of the spread of the infection have been increased, and the children receive all the necessary help and support as they need it. All of this will will be easier to organise with the help of INA's kind donation.

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