Serbia's NIS reports $380 mln Q3 profit

BELGRADE Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:20am EDT

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BELGRADE Oct 27 (Reuters) - Serbian oil firm NIS reported an unconsolidated and unaudited net profit of 27.1 billion dinars ($380.3 million) in the first nine months of 2011, outstripping its 16.5 billion dinar full-year net profit in 2010.

NIS, majority-owned by Russia's Gazprom Neft , said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached 32.2 billion dinars -- 88 percent more than in the first three quarters of 2010.

"A stronger exchange rate of the dinar to the euro and the dollar, higher business efficiency and an increase in domestic production of oil and gas were the key contributors to the increase in profits," it said in an email statement to Reuters.

The company said its total debt to banks fell to $506 million, or $105 million down from Jan. 1.

NIS had said earlier it aimed to triple crude output and almost double sales by 2020 in its drive to become the regional market leader. .

In 2010 the company posted a profit of $220 million after a loss a year earlier.

On Thursday NIS shares were trading up 0.5 percent at 655 dinars, data on the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) showed.

Under a 2009 energy pact between Russia and Serbia, Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of export monopoly Gazprom , paid 400 million euros ($553 million) for a 51 percent stake in NIS and raised its holding to 56.15 percent in March for another 40.3 million euros.

NIS had said it planned to invest $740 million to complete the overhaul of its two refineries in 2012, which would enable it to match the quality of fuels produced in the European Union. ($1 = 0.724 Euros) (Reporting By Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by David Holmes)

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