OMV's CEO Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said: "2005 was a successful one for OMV. We exceeded our growth targets for 2008 in 2005. We will continue our strategy of profitable growth. Petrom΄s significant contributions to profit prove that we are on the right track. As the clear No. 1 in Central Europe, OMV is in an excellent financial and strategic position to reach its ambitious 2010 growth targets. In the next few years we will continue to be successful by capitalizing on the opportunities of the Central and Southeastern Europe growth belt. "
Between January to December 2005, our total investments of EUR 1.4 bn were below those in 2004 (2004: EUR 2.3 bn), which included the acquisition of Petrom. Approximately EUR 314 mn of these investments was directed into E&P and about EUR 663 mn into R&M. EUR 405 mn was invested in Petrom's modernization. In comparison to the previous fourth quarter, EBIT of OMV rose by 1% to EUR 332 mn and sales increased by 60% to approximately 4.56 bn in 2005. At the end of 2005, OMV had 5,226 employees and Petrom had 44,693. Due to the deconsolidation of the chemical sector in the third quarter 2005, the employees of AMI Agrolinz Melamine International are no longer accounted by OMV. The OMV Executive Board will propose to the next Annual General Meeting an increase of the dividend from EUR 0.44 to EUR 0.90 for the expired fiscal year.
Exploration and Production: strong contribution to EBIT
Sales in the E&P segment rose by 39% in 2005 to almost EUR 1.37 bn (2004: EUR 983 mn), mainly due to higher crude oil prices and slightly higher sales volumes. The average realized crude oil price of USD 50.31/bbl (barrel) was 49% above the comparative 2004 value and the gas price was about 25% higher compared to the previous year. EBIT increased by 71% to EUR 802 mn.
Total production of oil, NGL (natural gas liquids) and natural gas declined slightly, by 4% to 44.3 mn boe (barrels of oil equivalent), which corresponds to an average daily production of 121,000 boe (2004: 45.9 mn boe or 125,000 boe per day). The oil and NGL production of 26.9 mn bbl was 3% lower than 2004 (2004: 27.7 mm bbl). Gas production also decreased slightly to 2.8 bcm (2004: 2.9 bcm) in spite of higher production in Pakistan.The decisive factor was the sale of the Australian gas fields. As of December 31, 2005, total proved reserves (including Petrom) were 1,365 mn boe.
E&P activities in 2005 strengthened the position of OMV in its international core regions. The company acquired eleven new licenses in the UK, Yemen and Ireland, and conducted nine successful explorations in the British North Sea, Yemen, Iran, Libya and Austria. In addition, as the operator of the Maari oil field in New Zealand, OMV reached an agreement with its partners on a development plan for the field. The government of New Zealand approved this project at the beginning of December.
With the opening of an office in Tyumen, the capital of West Siberia, OMV strengthens the possibility of establishing Russia as its sixth E&P core region. In the summer of 2005, OMV signed an agreement to participate in the bidding process for an off-shore license in the Ukrainian part of the Black Sea coast, along with the Ukrainian companies NJSC Naftogas and NSC Chornomornaftogas.
In order to streamline its portfolio, OMV sold its Australian gas participations, as well as its 7.5% stake in two participations in Qatar, purchased in the course of the Preussag acquisition in 2003. Furthermore, OMV is in the process of selling its participations in Ecuador - also purchased in the course of the Preussag acquisition - as South America is not part of OMV's core regions.
Outlook for 2006
The OMV Group will continue to concentrate on expanding its core businesses and activities to further strengthen its leading position in the growth belt of the EU. By 2010, the company plans to increase its refinery output capacities to up to 500,000 barrels per day, raise production volumes in the E&P segment to 500,000 boe per day and increase sales volumes to 20 bcm per annum in the Gas segment through internationalization. In Romania, the focus continues to be on the integration of Petrom. Restructuring measures in consultation with the trade union have already been initiated and are proceeding according to plan.
The defining business environment for the group especially the oil price will remain at a high level, although strong short-term fluctuations are expected.
The business environment of Exploration and Production is characterized by two factors. On the one hand, the segment wants to take advantage of the high price of crude oil by evaluating recently discovered oil and gas deposits as soon as possible and starting up production. On the other hand, international competition for new licenses and resources has clearly become more intense.
In the Refining and Marketing segment further good results are expected, but margins in Marketing will remain under pressure due to the price situation. OMV continues to target a strengthened position in its growth markets by increasing market share. This should be achieved by building new filling stations and via selective acquisitions. At the same time, the strategy of strengthening the non-oil business especially filling station shops and restaurants will be pursued. The production of the upgraded petrochemicals cracker at Schwechat will be gradually increased and is expected to reach full capacity in the second quarter of 2006. An investment budget of EUR 3 bn has been allotted for the modernization and growth of Petrom by 2010. Petrom will continue to make a significant contribution to OMV's business success. Minor restructuring expenditures are expected. From 2006, Petrom's results will be shown in the OMV business segments R&M, E&P and Gas.
The lowering of the corporate income tax in Romania and also in Austria will have a positive impact on the corporate Group's tax rate.
OMV's CEO, Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, stated: "The operating results we have generated clearly prove the success of our strategy. OMV will continue profitable growth in the coming years and will secure the supply of oil and gas for its core regions through expanded international E&P activities as well as with strengthened refinery sites. The entry into the Turkish market through the acquisition of a 34% stake in Petrol Ofisi, is a major step to expand our engagement in a new growth region."
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