Hungarian oil and gas player MOL has booked a poor Q2 2007, with net income down 70% to HUF26.9 billion, compared with HUF89.6 billion in the same period of 2006. In the first half of the year, this amounted to an overall drop of 59% in net income, from HUF211.9 billion in H1 2006, to just HUF86.4 billion in H1 2007.

Meanwhile, the company’s net sales in Hungarian forint terms fell 14% in Q2 2007, from HUF702.2 billion in Q2 2006 to HUF606.6 billion. In US dollar terms, however, revenue fell just 1% to $3.29 billion, from $3.31 billion a year earlier.

The company suffered in the quarter as a result of a 12% decline in average daily hydrocarbon production, which was caused by the disposal of the Szoreg-1 gas field. In MOL’s refining and marketing segment, operating profit fell by HUF12 billion in the quarter, to HUF57.1 billion, as the weakening US dollar was only partially compensated by increasing refined product sales.

Nevertheless, in Q2 2007, MOL’s petrochemical unit’s operating profit increased by HUF8.3 billion compared with the same period of 2006, fuelled by a strong increase in sales volumes and improving market conditions.

Zsolt Hernadi, chairman and CEO of MOL, commented: At an operational level, MOL has performed in line with expectations and continues on track to deliver its full year targets…During the period, we have taken action to underpin our future growth and profitability and secure returns for shareholders.

MOL also said that it expects its recently agreed acquisitions of IES in Italy and Tifon in Croatia to strengthen its downstream operations in Europe once complete.