Israel's Paz Oil Q4 profit slides on plant shutdown

Israel's Paz Oil reported a 69% drop in quarterly profit, citing a decrease in refining margins and a temporary shutdown of its Ashdod refinery to install a cat cooler facility.

TEL AVIV, March 26 (Reuters) - Israel's Paz Oil PZOL.TA reported a 69% drop in quarterly profit, citing a decrease in refining margins and a temporary shutdown of its Ashdod refinery to install a cat cooler facility.

Paz, Israel's largest distributor of refined oil products, said on Thursday it earned an adjusted net profit of 23 million shekels ($6.3 million) in the October-December period, versus 75 million a year earlier.

It said it also reduced the goodwill value of the Paz Ashdod Refinery by 566 million shekels.

Revenue slipped 18% to 2.96 billion shekels, while operating income in its refining segment moved to an adjusted 26 million shekel loss from a 7 million shekel profit a year earlier.

Paz said that assuming no significant change in refining margins, oil prices and market sales volumes, the refining segment could record a net loss of 100-120 million shekels in the first quarter.

The company also said it opted to postpone discussion of a 2019 dividend distribution until after the company has returned to an orderly work routine. "At the present time, the company's board of directors believed that it would be better to keep cash in the company's funds until the situation stabilized," it said.

($1 = 3.6319 shekels)

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

((steven.scheer@thomsonreuters.com; +972 2 632 2210; Reuters Messaging: steven.scheer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; Twitter: @StevenMScheer))

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