Caltex flags lower H1 profit

Refining and supply division set to widen loss as Kurnell refinery closes.

Caltex (CTX) has flagged a lower first-half profit than the previous year and a wider loss in its refining and supply division as it closes its Kurnell refinery.

Historic cost profit after tax for the half year ending June 30 is expected to be between $150 million and $170m, Caltex said, lower than a $195m profit in the half-year to June 30, 2013.

Caltex noted product and crude oil inventory losses of approximately $5m after tax, compared with a $24m gain in the previous corresponding period.

On a replacement cost operating profit basis, Caltex expects profit after tax between $155m and $175m, compared with a $171m profit in the prior corresponding period.

The refining and supply division is set to make a first-half replacement cost operating loss before interest and tax between $65m and $85m, wider than $43m in the previous corresponding period.

Caltex blamed a number of one-off Kurnell refinery production impacts as it closes the division.

Any changes in the exchange rate, refiner margins and crude oil prices from those assumed in the profit outlook can affect results, Caltex said.

Oil prices last week reached nine-month highs due to escalating violence in Iraq.

In May, Caltex reported a fall in first-quarter profit, blaming industry change and the exchange rate.