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ENI's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In this context we've taken steps to strengthen our competitive position in each sector. In gas and power we continue our strategy of reviewing our supply costs, enable ready close the agreement with Sonatrach. However, it is worth reminding you that gas and power results do not yet include the expected benefits of the Gazprom renegotiation which is progressing constructively and will be retroactive for the whole of 2011.

Meanwhile, we've strengthened our position in the most resilient retail segment through organic growth in Italy and selective acquisitions in France and Belgium. In Refining and marketing we are concentrating our efforts on efficiency. In 2011, we exceeded our target with over €150 million savings. In Petrochemicals alongside cost cutting we're refocusing our business on more profitable niches and example comes from our innovative project to convert a structural loss making basic chemical plants to biochemical giving us the full told in these fast growing markets.

Thank you for your attention, and I'll now hand it over to Sandro for a closer look at our fourth quarter results.

Alessandro Bernini

Thank you, Paul. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the market environment was mixed. The brand price averaged $109 a barrel, up 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, the average European refining margin Brent/Ural was $2.5 a barrel well below historical levels, and the showing an 8% decline year-on-year. The euro-dollar exchange rates were broadly inline with the last quarter of 2010 at $1.35 per euro.

Moving to our results, ENI's adjusted operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2011 was to €4.3 billion, a decrease of 10% from the fourth quarter '10. These results reflects the operating losses recorded by the bouncing businesses against the backdrop of recessionary environment and the increased competitive pressure on gas and power marketing results which only partially included the benefits of supply renegotiations. These negatives were to some extent offset by the improved operating performance in ELP where operating profits were up 4.3% year-on-year replacing higher oil prices and the effort made to recover the Libyan production after the suspension of ___01 2.22__ in the country during the crisis.

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