CORPORATE BRIEFS

Slovnaft posts January to March 697 million Sk loss

Oil refinery Slovnaft Bratislava reported an unconsolidated loss of 697.056 million crowns ($15 million) in the first quarter of 1999. In the same period of the previous year it reported a profit of 1.008 billion crowns.

Losses from financial operations tripled to 819.46 million crowns in 1999 compared to the year before. The company's sales in the first three months of 1999 slumped to 6.516 billion crowns from 8.13 billion crowns in 1Q98.

Slovnaft Bratislava earned a gross profit of 909.6 million crowns in 1998, which was less than one-third of the 1997 figure. The drop in the company's profit was mainly a consequence of a fall in world crude oil prices, of a depreciation of the Slovak currency and of the need to create reserves to cover losses from domestic and foreign trade.

In late March this year Slovnaft management decide to search for a strategic investor, approaching the Austrian OMV group.

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