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Mexico's Pemex earns $353 mln in quarter

MEXICO CITY, May 04, 2011

Profits at Mexico's state oil company Pemex nearly tripled in the first quarter from a year ago, boosted by higher crude oil prices and a stronger Mexican peso, it said in a stock market filing on Monday.

Pemex said it earned 4.2 billion pesos ($353 mln) in the first quarter, up from 1.4 billion pesos in the first three months of 2010.

The company benefited from a 10 percent increase in crude oil export volumes and a 29 percent increase in the price of its oil shipments in the quarter, compared with the year ago period.

Pemex regularly posts financial losses due to its heavy tax burden and had negative equity of 111 billion pesos at the end of the quarter despite the profit during the period.

Financial analysts have been sanguine about Pemex's poor profitability given its importance as a revenue generator for the Mexican federal government and the assumption that the state would guarantee its debts in the event of a crisis.

Pemex lost nearly a quarter of its oil production capacity between 2004 and mid-2009 but has since stabilized output around 2.55 million barrels per day. The company pumped 2.572 million bpd in the first quarter, down 1.4 percent from the same period in 2010. Pemex blamed bad weather for some of the lower output, which caused production at its giant Ku Maloob Zaap heavy oil complex to be temporarily shut down. ($1 = 11.8903 at end March)

Story by Robert Campbell from Reuters.

Reuters/ Mon May 2, 2011 6:30pm EDT


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