Lube Fortunes

July 20, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Chevron unit said net profit for the June 2009 quarter shot up 45 percent to 400 million rupees from a year ago mainly because of higher margins. Chevron Lubricants Lanka said in a stock exchange filing that sales for the three months rose two percent to 2.1 billion rupees.

Chief executive Kishu Gomes told LBO demand is likely to remain subdued for the rest of the year with growth only possible from next year.

The company’s performance in the first half ending June 2009 was virtually flat compared with last year with net profit for up only two percent to 632 million rupees and sales up one percent to 4.4 billion.

Gomes attributed Chevron Lubricants Lanka’s June quarter result mainly to a combination of improved profit margins, higher export volumes and better cost management. It also made gains from interest income.

“During the first quarter of this year we started making purchases of raw materials at rock-bottom levels which helped to drive second quarter margins,” Gomes said.

“Last year in the same quarter base oil prices were at very high levels in line with crude oil price movements.”

Gomes said profits had falle