World’s largest independent oil trader Vitol reported on Monday that its full-year revenue inched 1.3 percent higher amid challenging market conditions.
The privately-owned company saw its revenues last year hit $307 billion, up from $303 billion in 2012. Crude and refined oil volumes surged 5.7 percent to 276 million tons, up from 261 million a year earlier.
“2013 was a very challenging year for many in the physical energy distribution business. Markets remained extremely competitive with new entrants increasing margin pressure on certain regional activity,” said Vitol’s CEO Ian Taylor, according to Reuters.
“While these market conditions aren’t expected to change overnight, changing supply and demand balances are generating some new opportunities,” he said.
Coal revenues grew to 51 million tons in 2013, up from 25.2 million tons a year ago. However, sales of power and natural gas plummeted.
The Swiss-based firm doesn’t announce profit results. However, the energy trading business is widely reputed for its tiny profit margins.
Last February, the company, in what is its largest acquisition so far, announced that it will acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s refinery and downstream business in Australia in a deal valued at around $2.6 billion.
Vitol, which has refining interests in Antwerp and United Arab Emirates, entered into a joint venture deal with Carlyle Group last December to hold refining and downstream assets in Germany and Switzerland. The new entity will be called Varo Energy.
Vitol also disclosed earlier this month that it is holding discussions to lend Russian energy giant Rosneft an additional $2 billion to finance its expansion plans.
The company also expressed optimism that the withdrawal of certain investment banks from the commodity trading will create more opportunities for it.
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