Oil refiner Caltex Australia expects its first half profit to rise by up to 81 per cent per cent due to higher refinery production.
Caltex on Thursday said its net profit for the six months to June 30, on a replacement cost basis, was expected to between $185 million and $205 million, up from $113 million in the previous first half.
The company prefers the replacement cost basis as it excludes the impact of changes in the oil price and, therefore, reflects its underlying performance.
On a historical cost basis, Caltex's first half profit is forecast to be between $150 million and $170 million, down from $270 million in the previous corresponding period.
On a historical cost basis, the first half profit is to include product and crude oil inventory losses of about $35 million, compared with product and crude oil inventory gains of $157 million in the corresponding previous period.
The improved underlying result was largely attributable to improved transport fuel margins and increased refinery production volumes, Caltex said.
The company's production of petrol, diesel and jet fuel is expected to be about 5.2 billion litres in the six months to June, up from 4.7 billion litres in the previous first half.
Production in 2011 was impacted by maintenance and unplanned outages.
Improvements to the company's refinery operations had also contributed to higher production, Caltex said.
The outcome of its refineries review was expected in the third quarter of calendar 2012, the company said.