August 27, 2014 / 4:01 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Greece's Motor Oil narrows H1 loss, weak margins hurt

* H1 net loss 16.6 mln euros vs forecast loss of 9.4 mln

* Adjusted EBITDA down 31 pct at 68.5 million euros

* Sales flat year-on-year, at 4.5 billion euros (Adds adjusted EBITDA, sales)

ATHENS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Greece’s second-biggest refiner, Motor Oil, narrowed its first-half loss, helped by reduced oil inventory losses and lower taxes.

The Athens-based company said on Wednesday its net loss narrowed to 16.6 million euros ($21.9 million) from 31.6 million euros in the same period last year.

The result was below analysts’ average forecast for a 9.4 million euro loss in a Reuters poll.

Low European industry margins and weak fuel demand in recession-hit Greece have hurt profits at the country’s refiners.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were flat at 61.5 million euros on the same period last year, but below analysts’ average estimate of 64.7 million.

Excluding the impact of a change in oil prices on the value inventories, adjusted EBITDA fell 31 percent to 68.5 million euros, at the low end of market expectations.

Sales were almost flat year-on-year, at 4.5 billion euros, with higher exports - about two thirds of the refiner’s total revenues - offsetting weak demand at home.

Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum reported a larger-than-expected second quarter loss last month, also hurt by weak margins and volatility in crude oil markets.

1 US dollar = 0.7587 euro Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou; Editing by Mark Potter

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