Rising fuel costs across international markets and increased energy purchases led Chilean fuel distributor Copec to report a near 50% drop in its 1Q12 net income compared to the year-ago period.
The firm's gas distribution subsidiary Metrogas reported revenues of 166bn Chilean pesos (US$208mn) for the 1Q12 period, up 15.5% from the 1Q11 on the back of increased sales to industrial users and fellow distributors.
Sales to power companies were highlighted by the firm in its results report, up 3.8% from the year ago period as generators ramped up thermo plant usage due to continued restrictions on hydro output.
However, Metrogas net income over the period hit only 7.78bn pesos in first three months of this year, down by 25% from 1Q11 due to higher sales costs. The firm pointed to higher gas prices and transport costs as a reason for the difference in sales costs, which increased 28% year-on-year.
Similar results were reported by Copec's generation subsidiary Guacolda, which reported revenues of US$174.6mn, up 47.7% from the year ago period.
Once again the company was hit by sales costs, which rose 83.1% from the 1Q11 to a level of US$152mn. The firm cited increased energy purchases for the rise, due to reduced output at it's I and II generation units over January and February.
The generator's net income reached US$5.1mn compared to the US$15.3mn reported for the first three months of 2011.
Copec itself reported net income of US$169mn for the 1Q12, down 48% from the year-ago period.