Caltex Australia has returned to profitability as its refining businesses showed the results of recent structural changes.
The fuel marketer and refiner made a net profit of $149 million in the year to December 31, on a replacement cost basis, which excludes the effect of changes in the world oil price.
That compares to an $852 million loss in the previous year, in which Caltex took more than $1 billion in writedowns on its Kurnell refinery in Sydney, which it is closing.
Chief executive Julian Segal said the improved result reflected growth in Caltex's marketing business and improved refinery production.
Changes to the configuration of the company's Lytton refinery in Brisbane delivered higher production and earnings, he said.
The Kurnell facility just broke even, when excluding the costs of its planned closure.
The plant's poor competitive position restricts its ability to generate acceptable returns, and its closure remains on track to be completed towards the end of 2014, Caltex said.
Earnings from refining operations were $88 million in the year to December, up from a $208 million loss in the previous year.
Marketing and distribution earnings in 2012 of $736 million were up six per cent from 2011, due to a strategy of driving sales of premium petrol, diesel jet fuel and lubricants, Caltex said.
Caltex declared a fully franked final dividend of 23 cents per share, down from 28 cents for the same period in the previous year.