Despite the lower sales volumes, the ORLEN Group successfully expanded its market share in Poland.
The current market situation and the impact of maintenance shutdowns of key production facilities, as well as limited sales on the markets east of Poland (due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine), reduced the ORLEN Group’s sales of light and middle distillates on the Polish market by a total of 453 thousand tonnes (y/y). In middle distillates, higher sales volumes of Jet A-1 fuel were achieved by moving Jet A-1 sales from Petrolot Sp. z o.o. to PKN ORLEN, and were supported by the rapidly growing passenger transport market in Poland.
Despite the lower sales volumes, the ORLEN Group successfully expanded its market share in Poland. In 2014, PKN ORLEN’s total share of Poland’s fuel market inched up by 0.3 p.p. and reached 60.6%.
In the Downstream – petrochemicals segment, the ORLEN Group reported mainly a growth in fertilizer sales volumes, up 12.5% (y/y), due to greater availability of production facilities at the ANWIL Group. PTA sales volumes also increased by 2.7% (y /y), driven by strong sales in the European market and the non-PET market (including polyester fibres and foils, powder coatings and resins, plasticisers).
Lower sales of monomers, down 2.5% (y/y), are an effect of the planned maintenance shutdown of the olefins unit in Q3 2014. The shutdown, combined with the maintenance work on the PVC unit at the ANWIL Group, drove down the sales of plastics by 9.0% (y/y).
The Baltic States
The economic downturn and the resulting lower GDP growth in the Baltic States took a toll on the fuel industry. Furthermore, unfavourable macroeconomic climate in the first half of 2014 and aggressive competition from Scandinavian and Belarusian suppliers on the Latvian and Estonian markets, combined with a decline in exports by sea, resulted in a downward pressure on the ORLEN Lietuva Group’s total sales, which dropped by 15.7% (y/y), to 7,475 thousand tonnes.
On the other hand, sales volumes in Lithuania, which accounts for 60% of the ORLEN Lietuva Group’s total sales, improved significantly and reached a record-high level, mainly due to higher sales of middle distillates. The ORLEN Lietuva Group remained a leader of the Lithuanian fuel sales market, with a share of approximately 95.7% in 2014.
The Czech Republic
In 2014, the Unipetrol Group closed the acquisition of 16.3% of shares in Česka Rafinérská from Shell, increasing its annual throughput capacity to 5.9 million tonnes of crude oil. Despite strong competitive pressures, the increased production capacity coupled with a favourable macroeconomic climate and a temporary diesel fuel supply gap in the Czech Republic translated into a record-high growth in sales volumes. Higher sales of light and middle distillates (up by 32.8% year on year and 40.6%, respectively) were achieved thanks to greater availability and higher capacity of production facilities. The strong sales drove a significant increase in the ORLEN Group’s total share of the Czech fuel market to 36.3%.
In 2014, the Unipetrol Group continued its cooperation with large fuel companies and hypermarket chains. Fuel exports to Hungary, Austria and Germany also improved considerably, including to the ORLEN Deutschland’s STAR service station chain. The petrochemical segment reported strong sales of monomers, polymers, aromatic hydrocarbons and plastics, mainly on the back of the favourable market climate, accompanied by solid demand for the products and greater availability of production facilities (with no maintenance shutdowns or other events such as the 2013 floods).