Unaudited results of the Petrol Group and Petrol d. d., Ljubljana, for 2023

14 March 2024 – At its 49th meeting, the Supervisory Board of Petrol d.d., Ljubljana discussed the unaudited results of the Petrol Group and Petrol d. d., Ljubljana, for 2023.

In 2023, the Petrol Group successfully tackled the challenges of the energy crisis and stayed committed to the sustainable development and energy transition. Despite the inflation, energy price regulation and geopolitical tensions, the Petrol Group preserved financial stability and continued expanding and diversifying its activities in accordance with the strategy for 2021–2025. The Supervisory Board emphasises that the Petrol Group, by being flexible and resilient, successfully navigated through the complex business environment in 2023.

Responding to energy price caps and global economic trends

In 2023, the Petrol Group was faced with challenges on the dynamic energy market which started already in 2022. The still high energy prices, the regulation of the prices of fuels, electricity, natural gas and heat, and the inflation had a big effect on the Petrol Group’s operations. Despite the lower prices of energy commodities at the end of 2022, government measures and regulated prices stayed present throughout 2023, which had a profound effect on the Petrol Group’s business results. As the economic growth slowed, the Petrol Group was faced with new challenges such as a loss of purchasing power and the tightened financing conditions. 

Regardless of the changes in the environment, the Petrol Group demonstrated its adaptability and the ability to growth and preserved its stability. The Petrol Group thus continues to pursue its path in the complex and dynamic business environment which requires continuous adaptation and innovative approaches in order to tackle external challenges.

On the occasion of publishing the unaudited business results, Sašo Berger, President of the Management Board of Petrol d.d., Ljubljana, stressed: “In 2023, the Petrol Group showed that we are able not only to adapt to the volatile circumstances but also thrive in them. We actively co-created the conditions for the future and at the same time preserved our financial stability and commitment to achieving our strategic targets. This way, we have laid sound foundations for the preparation of the Petrol Group’s new strategy for 2025–2030.”  

Improvement of key performance indicators

In 2023, the Petrol Group generated sales revenue in the amount of EUR 7.0 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 26 percent, especially owing to the lower prices of fuel and other energy commodities. The Petrol Group sold 3.8 million tons of fuels, a decrease of 8 percent compared to 2022, while the sales of merchandise and services increased by 10 percent to reach EUR 571.2 million. Revenue from merchandise and services was increased in Slovenia and on SEE markets. We also sold 16.6 TWh of natural gas, 12.8 TWh of electricity and 143.4 thousand MWh of heat.

The business conditions in 2023 were quite different than those in 2022. Compared to 2022, the situation on the energy markets stabilised in 2023 and as a result the regulation of the prices of certain petroleum products was not as strict as in 2022. The adjusted gross profit totalled EUR 677.6 million in 2023, a 72-percent increase compared to 2022.

Operating costs of the Petrol Group amounted to EUR 561.3 million in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent, mostly because of the higher prices of materials and labour costs.

EBITDA totalled EUR 277.1 million in 2023, a year-on-year increase of EUR 180.8 million. Compared to 2022, a year of energy market turmoil, the EBITDA structure normalised. The share of the Energy and Solutions product group increased in the EBITDA structure, which is in line with the strategic commitment related to the transition from traditional energy sources to cleaner renewable energy sources.

The net profit amounted to EUR 136.6 million in 2023, an increase of EUR 139.2 million compared with 2022 when it was negative.

In 2023, the Petrol Group earmarked EUR 82.9 million for net investments, an increase of 38.7 percent compared to 2022 when CapEx stood at EUR 59.8 million due to the limited financial assets. Despite the challenges brought by the energy crisis, the energy transition and the regulatory interventions and the uncertainty regarding the reimbursement for the damage resulting from price regulation, which required the Petrol Group to substantially decrease its CapEx in 2022, the Petrol Group successfully continued its key development projects in 2023.

We successfully continued to pursue the debt management strategy and reduced the net debt below the level from 2021. We kept all key indicators at acceptable levels which provides the Petrol Group with financially sustainable foundations for future operations. In December 2023, S&P Global Ratings reaffirmed Petrol d.d., Ljubljana’s long-term BBB- and short-term A-3 rating with a stable outlook.

Drago Kavšek, Member of the Management Board of Petrol d.d., Ljubljana, responsible for financial management, risk management and business optimisation, said: “Despite the challenges on the market, the Petrol Group managed to keep a balanced financial structure and liquidity in 2023, allowing us to look forward to the future with optimism. Efficient risk management, prudent cost management and responsible investing, especially in projects that support the energy transition and sustainable development, will ensure that Petrol is ready to implement its further strategic plans.”

In 2024, emphasis on the energy transition and on strengthening the business stability

Despite the challenges brought by the energy crisis, the Petrol Group managed to stabilise its operations in 2023, which was key to maintaining its good financial condition. Although the regulations of energy prices have negatively affected our operations since being enforced, we have stayed committed to meeting the high standards which are affirmed by S&P Global Ratings. By having optimised business processes and costs, we have laid sound foundations for the future. Despite the currently effective legislation, which limits margins on some petroleum products without reasonable grounds, Petrol will pursue the strategic guidelines for the green transition. In 2024, we will increase investments which were slowed in 2022 and 2023 due to many external factors. By being committed to the energy transition and to providing a wow user experience, the Petrol Group will continue its endeavours to ensure stability and return to its shareholders even in the changed energy and economic circumstances.

The Supervisory Board’s opinion

According to the Supervisory Board, the Petrol Group successfully responded to the challenges brought by the energy crisis and effectively tackled the dynamic market situation in 2023. In the same year, the Management Board of Petrol d.d., Ljubljana underwent significant changes and it now comprises the maximum number of members who have already started preparing the business strategy for 2025-2030. The Supervisory Board believes that the Management Board competently managed the situation dictated by the regulatory measures and the energy transition. By focusing on portfolio diversification and operational flexibility, the effect of the unstable market trends was mitigated. The optimised purchasing processes ensured the Petrol Group with a secure supply of energy commodities and support to customers at a high level.

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mag. Barbara Jama Živalič