16 Nov 2011

Z Energy says making progress, despite tough times

7:41 am on 16 November 2011

Z Energy says its fuel volumes are holding up well despite tough conditions.

The company is jointly owned by infrastructure investor Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund

Its earnings before interest and tax fell 8% to $88.7 million in the six months to the end of September, compared with the same period a year ago.

Industry-wide petrol volumes fell 4.8% in the first six months of the year as prices rose, but Z's volumes fell just 1.5%.

Diesel volumes rose 2.5% across the industry but Z's volumes rose 9%.

Z's chief executive Mike Bennetts says the company and its new brand are making good progress, despite tough trading conditions.

Meanwhile, Z's fuel barge Awanuia is being returned to service after assisting with the Rena salvage operation in Tauranga.

Z Energy charters the boat to take fuel oil from the Marsden Point refinery to supply ships in Auckland harbour.

Mr Bennetts says loaning the ship to the salvors has cost Z about $1 million and parties are still working out how those costs will be recovered.