July 1, 2019 [Financial Mirror] – Local energy giant Petrolina’s new fuel storage facilities at the Vassiliko hub will be ready by the end of the year, ending almost six decades of presence on the Larnaca coastline, with the company’s main shareholders hoping to utilise the vacated land on the Dhekelia road for commercial and property development.
Construction of the new facilities and the 18 tanks, with a storage capacity of about 113,000 cm, some 50% more than at present in Larnaca, should be completed by the end of July with final testing expected in November and December.
Addressing the 19th annual general meeting of Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd, Executive Chairman Costakis Lefkaritis said the company “is in the final stages of competing the second phase of the wholly-owned fuel terminal at Vassiliko, the full operation of which is scheduled within the timeframes set by the government, which is by the end of the current year.”
Some €35 mln was invested for the first phase of the terminal and the acquisition of land, while the cost for the second phase is estimated at €24 mln, which will include an automated tank-filling system.
Lefkaritis, who heads the family-controlled company established in 1960, said that work is underway for the construction of a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) terminal, also at Vassiliko, through a consortium, which should be operational by the end of 2020.
With the completion of the fuel and liquid gas storage to Vassiliko, the company will proceed with the dismantling of the existing facilities on the Larnaca coast with the demolition of all tanks and clearing of the land.
He said “our aim is that all the property where the company’s terminal facilities were located so far be included in new planning zones so that they are developed accordingly and to this end we anticipate a positive response from the state. Of course, the company’s base will continue to be in Larnaca.”
Ever since it was converted into a public company and listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange in 2000, Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd. has maintained a strong presence in the local retail market with own-brand and Agip petrol stations, distribution of Eni lubricants and more recently investments in the aviation fuel sector at both Larnaca and Paphos airports.
This allowed the company to enjoy steady profits, prudent growth and a stable dividend policy, which continued according to the annual report for 2018, to the delight of shareholders.
Turnover was up in 2018, at €394.2 mln from €391.5 mln the year before, while after-tax profits rose from €4.2 mln in 2017 to €4.3 mln last year, boosted by the sale of a 35% stake in its subsidiary Lca Aviation Fueling System, resulting in non-recurring earnings leaping to €14.3 mln in 2018, from €4.2 mln the year before.
Earnings per share (EPS) rose from 4.8c in 2017 to 4.9c last year, while EPS including non-recurring profits rose from 4.72c to 16.33c.
After two interim dividend payments in June and November last year, the board approved a final dividend payout of 2.5c, for an annual dividend for 2018 at 5.9c a share, or 17.35% of its nominal stock price, up from 4c a share in 2017.