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Viva Energy beats HY profit forecast

Recently listed oil refiner and service station owner Viva Energy's half-year net profit has beaten prospectus forecasts on the back of inventory gains and higher oil prices.

Viva Energy owns 1100 Shell, Liberty and Coles Express service stations, while its refinery in Geelong, Victoria is one of only four in Australia.

Global energy trader Vitol floated Viva on the ASX in July, retaining a 45 per cent stake, in a $2.6 billion offering that was Australia's biggest market entry in nearly four years.

The company's historical cost profit - a measure which includes the impact of movement in oil prices - for the six months to June 30 was $144.6 million, surpassing the $112.3 million forecast in its prospectus.

Viva's revenue for the period was $8.61 billion, also surpassing its forecast by $573.4 million.

The company's service stations division reported underlying earnings of $308 million, passing the forecast by $9 million, while its business and industrial sales arm recorded underlying earnings of $166, in line with the prospectus.

The refinery performance was impacted by lower regional refining margins in June, the company said, but has since recovered.

For the period, refining margin was $US7.30 a barrel compared with the prospectus forecast of $US8.30 per barrel, with Viva blaming a slump in regional margins in June that has since rebounded.

Viva did not pay a dividend for this period but said it's targeting a payout ratio of 60 per cent for 2018/19.

The company said its balance sheet is expected to remain strong with stable sales volumes and margins in both its retail and commercial business.

Viva shares were steady at $2.40 at 1208 AEST.

VIVA ENERGY BEATS PROSPECTUS FORECASTS

* Half-year historical cost net profit up $32 million to $144.6

* Revenue up $573.4 million to $8.61 billion

* No dividend

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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