Caltex predicts a massive profit

Caltex Australia expecting massive jump in profit due to higher oil prices and a strong Australian dollar

Caltex Australia has announced it is expecting a massive profit - as much as 50 percent - for the first half of 2009 due to higher margins on crude oil prices and a strong Australian dollar.

The company says its after tax profit may be in the range of $270 million to $295 million, the a $99 million jump from the $196 million profit it posted at the same time last year.

"Earnings have benefited from a strong performance by the Caltex Refining business," a statement from the company says.

"Utilisation rates continue to improve, key refinery maintenance was completed on time and within budget and no major unplanned maintenance occurred in the first half."

However, the oil giant has warned it could experience a change in fortunes during the first half of 2009-2010, as growth in global surplus refinery capacity and refiner margins come under pressure.

"The outcome [of 2009-2010] will depend on the rate and timing of product demand and recovery and the moderation of capacity utilisation by refiners globally as they rationally respond to soft demand with lower utilisation rates," the statement reads.

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