October 26, 2017 / 6:36 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Polish refiner Lotos beats forecasts with 63 pct profit surge

* Q3 net 619 million zlotys vs f’cst 482 million

* EBITDA 959 million zlotys vs f’cast 886 million

* Efra investment project delayed by lack of workers (Adds details, analyst quote)

WARSAW, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Lotos, Poland’s second-biggest oil refiner, on Thursday posted a higher-than-expected 63 percent surge in third-quarter net profit, buoyed by a reversed writedown, higher sales, margins and throughput after 2016 refinery shutdowns.

Profit of 619 million zlotys ($173 million) compared with 380 million in the year-ago period. Analysts on average had expected a bottom line of 482 million zlotys.

Lotos’s revenue also rose more than expected to 6.3 billion zlotys, while EBITDA or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came in at 959 million zlotys, compared with analysts’ average expectation of 886 million.

Clean EBITDA LIFO, which excludes the cost of oil inventories, one-offs and foreign exchange, rose by 44.5 percent to 926 million zlotys.

Analysts said the results, boosted by positive one-offs, were a surprise after its bigger rival PKN Orlen missed forecasts earlier this month.

Michal Kozak, analyst with Trigon DM, said he would expect a positive market reaction to the figures, despite the company saying it faced a potential delay in concluding its key Efra investment project due to a lack of workers.

Lotos said it expects the 2.3 billion zlotys investment, designed to make refining processes more effective, to be completed by mid 2018.

The company also said a 14 percent rise in crude oil prices had a positive impact on its upstream business, while a 10 percent increase in fuel consumption in Poland boosted its sales. ($1 = 3.5871 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Holmes)

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