Verchere (OMV Petrom): Quarantine saw a 45% drop in petrol and diesel demand in April

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OMV Petrom registered in April gasoline and diesel sales 45% lower than in the same month of 2019, the drastic decrease in demand being caused by the introduction of quarantine, said on Thursday, OMV Petrom CEO, Christina Verchere, according to Agerpres.

“In April we had a 45% drop in demand for petrol and diesel, so it was a massive drop from the previous year. Since May, the drop has been of 25%, so there is no doubt that the changes have been caused by the quarantine. Now you can see the cars on the streets again in Bucharest and in Romania, and with them the demand for fuel has increased again. We don’t have sales figures for June yet. When we wrote the last results, we thought that the second quarter will be weaker than the first, but this is a little better, but for the oil industry the second quarter will bring very harsh results, given that there has been a simultaneous decline in demand and a decrease in oil price. OMV Petrom is a strong company, we paid our dividends, we published the dividend payment proposal that was submitted to the vote during the second quarter and in June we will pay dividends. This is important because part of OMV Petrom is owned by the Romanian state, and we know how important the state budget is,” said Christina Verchere.

“We can say that we are now seeing a return to demand. We have been affected by two factors – the massive drop in demand and the fall in the price of oil, and we have never experienced both factors happening at the same time. We had to reduce our investment capital with 30%, from 4.2 billion lei to 3 billion lei, and we reduced the operating costs by 320 million lei. These are large amounts. Although Petrom is a large company, we had to intervene, to control the company’s cash flow, due to the decrease in demand and the decrease in price, that took place simultaneously. (…) We could see an increase (of capex), but we will not return to the figure we thought when setting the budget, not only because of the fall in demand, but because of the fall of the oil price”, added Christina Verchere.

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