Emarat announces fall in profits, new joint venture

15 January 2003
Dubai-based marketer and distributor of petroleum products Emaratannounced on 15 January that profits had fallen in 2002 on the back of high crude prices, down to AED 340 million from AED 385 million. However, retail sales rose 8 per cent, and total turnover was about AED 2,500 million. With fixed pumped prices and varying input, we have fluctuations in gross margins,' said general manager Rashid al-Shamsi. 'Profit in our business doesn't reflect efficiency.' Al-Shamsi said that Emarat was basing 2003 forecasts on an oil prices of $23-25 a barrel. The company has retail sales of 700,000 tonnes a year (t/y), and supplies 1.7 million t/y of diesel and other products to corporate customers and power stations, where its ability to set prices is greater.

On the same day it was announced that a joint venture of Emarat, the UK's BPand Netherlands-based Trafigura are establishing an AED 95.5 million ($26 million) unleaded gasoline blending, storage and distribution facility at Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone. The local company will hold a 60 per cent stake in the project and the other two a 20 per cent stake each. Construction is to begin in July and commissioning will take place sometime in 2004. Leaded petrol is being phased out in the UAE: from 1 January 2003 hundreds of service station began selling unleaded fuel.

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