Takeover target Z Energy returns to profit

Author
Jamie Gray, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 4 Nov 2021, 10:50AM
Fuel company Z Energy returned to the black in the first half. (Photo / File)
Fuel company Z Energy returned to the black in the first half. (Photo / File)

Takeover target Z Energy returns to profit

Author
Jamie Gray, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 4 Nov 2021, 10:50AM

Fuel company Z Energy - the subject of a $2 billion takeover offer from Australia's Ampol - returned to the black in the first half. 

The company said its net profit for the six months to September came to $92 million, a turnaround from the $58m loss in the previous corresponding period, primarily driven by rising crude and product prices. 

Z Energy's prior period loss was driven by the impacts of Covid-19 due to higher cost inventory sold at lower product prices and reduced volumes during lockdown with additional reduction in fuel demand for jet fuel in particular. 

Chief executive Mike Bennetts said the solid first half earnings recovery had been hampered by Covid-19 lockdowns and rising input costs. 

Z Energy's board last month recommended its shareholders accept a marginally improved offer from Ampol. 

Under a revised scheme, shareholders will receive a cash offer price of $3.78 per share and will also receive the first 5c per share of the interim full year dividend without adjusting the cash offer price, for an effective value of $3.83 per share. 

In its result, Z Energy said its reported replacement cost earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortisation came to $114m, up 20 per cent from $95m. 

The company said the lift was primarily due to increased refining processing volume and improved unit refining margin along with increased C-Store sales and Z establishing a long emissions trading scheme position in the first quarter. 

Bennetts said Z remained focussed on its full year 2024 roadmap objectives - to optimise its core business, transition the company to a low carbon future and maintain disciplined capital management. 

"Z delivered on its four-point improvement plan against a challenging operating environment from Covid-19 related lockdowns and rising crude and product prices," he said in a short statement. 

The stock last traded at $3.61.