September 27, 2017 / 4:14 PM / a year ago

Vitol first-half profit jumps almost 50 pct - FT

Sept 27 (Reuters) - International oil trader Vitol’s first-half profit jumped almost 50 percent, helped by asset sales, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The privately held commodity trader's net profit jumped to $818.9 million from $546.4 million a year ago, according to a copy of the company's accounts seen by the paper.

The increase in net profit comes after the group earned $321.6 million from asset disposals, including a 50 percent stake sale of its oil storage and terminals business VTTI to U.S.-based Buckeye Partners.

Even as market conditions have gotten tougher for energy dealers, Vitol’s results indicate that top energy traders are having to run harder to stand still, the report said.

Despite the group increasing number of barrels of crude and refined products it trades to more than 7 million barrels a day, operating profits from its core energy trading business came in almost unaffected at $548.9 million versus $547 million last year, the FT reported.

The half-year accounts show Vitol’s oil trading business had net sales of $69.4 billion, up from $56.2 billion, mainly driven by increased oil prices, the report said.

Vitol declined to comment on the report. (Reporting by Shalini Nagarajan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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