The Supervisory Board of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) on Friday gave its consent to the approval of a HRK 200 million loan to the Petrokemija artificial fertiliser manufacturer so that it can pay its debts to its suppliers, and the caretaker Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Saturday that the government would confirm the collateral, which, he added, will not increase Croatia's public debt.
"We have delivered on what we said. We have found the solution. Yesterday, HBOR gave its consent to the approval of the HRK 200-million loan to Petrokemija with a state collateral, and the government is going to confirm it. We have, thus, prevented an undesirable scenario of the suspension of delivery of gas to Petrokemija, which could have had far-reaching consequences not only for Petrokemija with 1,700 employees, but also for Croatian farmers and the Croatian economy," Maric said in the eastern city of Slavonski Brod where he stopped on the Croatian Democratic Union's campaigning trial.
Maric explained that the collateral would not increase the public debt. This could happen only if Petrokemija were not able to service this loan.
Economy Minister Tomislav Panenic of the Bridge party said on Saturday that the HBOR loan would be used for the preparation of the production after the overhaul, and recalled that the Kutina-based factory had been now on a good course.
The Petrokemija Group made HRK 921,000 in profits in the first half of 2016, the first time it earned a profit in the first six months of a year since 2011, when it had posted a loss of HRK 11.6 million. The group's revenues totalled HRK 1.06 billion, down 19.1 percent from the first half of 2015, while expenditures totalled HRK 1.059 billion, down 20%.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation amounted to HRK 58.4 million.
Domestic sales accounted for 28.8% of the revenues (HRK 304.5m), down 38.4% from the first six months of 2015, while exports generated 67.7% of the revenues (HRK 715.9m), down 7.9%.
The group manufactured 550,000 tonnes of mineral fertiliser, down 5%. Investments amounted to HRK 74.6 million, HRK 39.1 million more than in the first half of 2015.
(EUR 1 = HRK 7.5)