Pemex Cuts Nine-Month Losses 23%

Higher prices and volumes of crude and refined products enabled Mexico's state oil company Pemex to cut net losses for the first nine months of 2003 by 23% from the same period last year to 8.13bn pesos (US$739mn), the company said in a statement.

Total sales rose 31% to 453bn pesos, with domestic sales up 24% to 281bn pesos, reflecting unit price increases as well as higher volumes. Domestic sales of refined products were 165bn pesos on a volume of 1.69 million barrels a day, natural gas sales were 39.1bn pesos on a volume of 2.59 billion cubic feet a day, and petrochemical sales were 8.8bn pesos on a volume of 2.28 million tons. Exports were up 45% to 172bn pesos over the period as a result of higher prices for the Mexican crude export mix, an increase in sales volume and the depreciation of the peso against the dollar.

Costs of sales, transportation and distribution expenses, and administrative expenses, increased 31% to 149bn pesos, due mainly to a 13.2bn peso increase in product purchases, especially imported natural gas, an increase in depreciation charges of 6.7bn pesos and a negative effect on the inventory valuation of crude and refined products of 4.6bn pesos.

EBITDA rose 65% to 239bn pesos and the EBITDA margin - EBITDA/total sales without Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) - increased to 62% from 56% in 2002. Total assets were up 28% to 810bn pesos and total liabilities increased 41% to 719bn pesos. Equity was down by 24% 91.6bn pesos, principally due to the net loss for 2002 and the May 2003 payment of the minimum guaranteed dividends to the Mexican government.

Total company debt was up 46% to 371bn pesos as of September 30, 2003 compared to the same time last year, with short-term debt up 61% to 48bn pesos and long-term debt up 42% to 323bn pesos.

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