(Adds details, background and comment)
By Anna Koper
WARSAW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - PKN Orlen, Poland’s top oil refiner, said on Thursday fourth-quarter net profit fell by 11 percent year-on-year to 1.59 billion zlotys ($477.42 million) as higher oil prices hit its refining margins.
Analysts had expected the state-run refiner to report a net profit of 1.72 billion zlotys in the fourth quarter compared with 1.79 billion zlotys a year ago, when refinery shutdowns weighed on the results.
PKN also said on Thursday its capital expenditure will rise this year to 4.8 billion zlotys from 4.6 billion zlotys in 2017.
Revenues rose 8 percent to 27.73 billion zlotys in the last three months of last year, coming in higher than the 26.07 billion zlotys seen in a Reuters poll.
“Results reported are a little bit worse than expected, but investors should focus on results excluding (negative) one-offs,” Michal Kozak, an analyst at brokerage Trigon DM, said. He expects a slightly negative market reaction to the results.
PKN’s so-called EBITDA LIFO, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, excluding the impact of impairment and costs of oil inventories stood at 1.92 billion zlotys in the fourth quarter versus 1.98 billion expected by analysts. Negative one-offs amounted to around 184 million zlotys during the quarter, according to Kozak.
PKN said earlier this month that its refining margin fell to $5.3 per barrel in the fourth quarter from $5.8 a year ago.
PKN shares have gained 5 percent since the beginning of the year, slightly underperforming the Warsaw blue-chip index .
$1 = 3.3304 zlotys Reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Marcin Goclowski and Agnieszka Barteczko, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sunil Nair