August 1, 2019 / 7:47 AM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Vivo Energy first-half profit rises on higher volumes

(Adds details of results)

Aug 1 (Reuters) - African fuel retailer Vivo Energy Plc posted a 2% rise in gross profit for the first half of the year on Thursday, helped by higher volumes.

The company, which distributes and markets Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, said gross profit rose to $318 million for the six months ended June 30 from $312 million a year earlier.

Overall gross cash unit margins for the period fell to $70 per thousand litres from $74 last year due to lower retail margins in Morocco.

However, Vivo Energy said it expects margins to be at the upper end or slightly ahead of previous guidance of high sixties per thousand litres for this fiscal year.

Vivo energy, a result of a partnership between energy trader Vitol Group and Africa-focused private equity firm Helios Investment, said half-year sales volume grew 8% to $4.68 billion, helped by contribution from Engen, acquired in March this year.

Adjusted core earnings rose 4% to $212 million. (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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