Croatia energy group INA reports 39 pct fall in H1 profit

ZAGREB, July 27 (Reuters) - Croatian energy group INA on Friday reported a 39 percent drop in the first-half profit despite sales rising 13 percent.

Profit fell to 533 million Croatian kuna ($83.8 million) on revenue which rose to 9.5 billion kuna on higher prices and production.

EBITDA increased by 5 percent to 1.6 billion kuna, the company said in a filing to the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

INA said in June it has decided to buy back a 50 percent stake held by Italy’s ENI in a joint venture exploiting 10 gas wells in the northern Adriatic.

Hungary’s MOL holds a 49 percent stake in INA and the Croatian government owns the remainder.

In April, the government picked a consortium of banks to advise it on buying back INA’s stake.

The two sides have been at odds for several years over management rights and INA’s investment strategy.

$1 = 6.3611 kuna Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo; editing by Jason Neely