Petroplus announces its 2003 full year results net loss of EUR 64.2 million after:

3/9/2004, 8:15 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
- partial write-off and reorganisation Antwerp refinery - non-recurrent losses Dubai Supply & Trading office, mercury contamination Teesside refinery and fire in Cressier refinery in early 2003 - weakened US Dollar versus the euro - weaker then expected wholesale results

Completion of the sale of Tango unmanned service stations on March
1st, 2004
(to be booked in 1st quarter 2004)
Reorganisation initiated in August 2003 still ongoing and aimed at
further strengthening of balance sheet and stabilising cash-flows

Petroplus International ("Petroplus"), Europe's leading midstream oil
company today announces its 2003 full year results. Petroplus
reported a net loss of EUR 64.2 million compared to a net loss of EUR
24.6 million in 2002. Excluding non-recurring items, the 2003 net
loss was EUR 17.3 million, showing a slight improvement compared to

EUR (000)
% Petroplus %
Q4 2003 Q4 2002 change 2003 2002 change
unaudited audited
1,415,297 1,674,427 -15% Net Sales 6,112,653 5,217,414 17%

41,846 53,473 -22% Profit 197,692 180,913 9%

(9,426) 19,526 n.a. EBITDA 28,677 36,183 -21%
8,102 11,085 -27% EBITDA * 46,205 30,242 53%

(6,467) 11,245 n.a. Income (32,619) 10,153 n.a.
(1,127) 2,804 -140% NOI * 12,721 4,213 202%

(16,917) (379) n.a. Net Income (64,208) (24,587) n.a.
(9,966) (3,271) n.a. Income* (17,257) (24,979) n.a.

Earnings € €
per share (2.09) (0.85)
Adjusted € €
EPS * (0.56) (0.86)
* Adjusted = excludes non-recurring items

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The 2003 results are the outcome of the prevailing market conditions
and specific operational and non-recurring events. The most important
non-recurring items were the restructuring of the Antwerp refinery
and the provision in Dubai. The total impact of these non-recurring
events was EUR 46.9 million and is specified below. Furthermore,
Petroplus' results were impacted by a fire in Cressier early in the
year and mercury contamination at the Teesside refinery. The combined
impact of these two events over the full year has been estimated at
EUR 16 million. Operationally, the closure of the Cressier refinery
for planned maintenance in May and part of June was significant. With
respect to market conditions, although refining margins improved, the
weak US dollar, high crude price and volatile markets have negatively
impacted the full year results.


EUR (000)
Q4 2003 Q4 2002 % change Refining 2003 2002 % change
unaudited audited
- - n.a. Net Sales - - n.a.
29,216 31,484 -7% Gross Profit 101,421 64,031 58%
29,216 31,484 -7% Adjusted GP * 101,421 64,031 n.a.
2,381 3,742 -36% EBITDA 17,907 (13,282) n.a.
10,797 13,194 -18% EBITDA * 26,323 (3,829) n.a.
Net Operating
10,841 (1,495) n.a. Income (27,925) (27,801) n.a.
4,969 7,957 -38% Adjusted NOI * 6,203 (18,348) n.a.
* Adjusted = excludes non-recurring items

2003 vs 2002
The Refining division showed a strong improvement in gross profit as
a consequence of the general word-wide recovery of refining margins.
Petroplus' actual gross margin per barrel over the full year
increased from USD 0.97 per bbl to USD 1.77 per bbl in 2003. The
adjusted net operating income of EUR 6.2 million increased by EUR
24.6 million compared to 2002. Petroplus achieved a utilisation of
69% in its 3 refineries (81% excluding Antwerp over the full year)
compared to 69% in 2002.

Q4 2003 vs Q4 2002
The gross profit over the fourth quarter was down 7% relative to last
year, despite a 18.5% reduction in total throughput as a consequence
of the closure of the crude unit in Antwerp. Petroplus processed 16
million barrels in the fourth quarter (excluding the bitumen plant)
relative to 18.9 million barrels in the same period in 2002. The
realised Petroplus gross refining margin over the quarter increased
to USD 2.18 per bbl relative to USD 1.74 per bbl last year. Part of
this margin improvement reflects the low (from a seasonal
perspective) fourth quarter 2002 margins that were impacted by the
political unrest in Venezuela. The adjusted net operating income
decreased by EUR 3.0 million to EUR 5.0 million.

Operational developments
The Antwerp refinery performed poorly in the fourth quarter due to
lower than expected ULSD premiums and the continued operational costs
of the closed crude unit. Late December, a social plan was agreed
with the workers council and labour unions allowing the execution of
the restructuring plan to proceed as planned.
To produce ULSD in the new operating mode without the crude unit,
high sulphur gas oil is imported as a feedstock for the
desulphurisation unit. The 10 ppm ULSD premium relative to the cost
of the feedstock (gasoil CIF NWE) was USD 16.3 per MT in the fourth
quarter (Q4 2002: USD 21.2 per MT). This was unusually low for the
fourth quarter which is traditionally a strong period for ULSD with
increased winter distillate demand.
The Antwerp bitumen plant operated smoothly at a reduced rate
throughout the fourth quarter. The reduced run rate reflects the
seasonal demand for bitumen.

The Teesside refinery benefited from fairly strong margins although
it also experienced lower than expected ULSD premiums. Mercury
continues to be extracted in Teesside from the naphtha production due
to the mercury contamination which had a slight negative impact on
the results in the fourth quarter. The investigation into possible
legal proceedings is expected to be concluded in the second quarter
of 2004.

At the Cressier refinery there were no significant developments over
the fourth quarter. Rhine freight rates in the fourth quarter started
to drop after having seen extremely high levels earlier in the year
following the dry European summer. At the end of December, the Rhine
freight rate was CHF 30.5 per MT relative to CHF 31.6 per MT over the
full year.


EUR (000)
Marketing %
Q4 2003 Q4 2002 % change 2003 2002 change
unaudited audited
1,380,160 1,637,471 -16% Net Sales 5,959,109 5,054,391 18%
2,567 11,952 -79% Gross Profit 56,744 71,735 -21%
9,679 11,952 -19% Adjusted GP* 63,856 71,735 -11%
(11,941) 17,627 n.a. EBITDA 4,464 41,227 -89%
(4,829) (1,989) n.a. EBITDA * 11,576 21,610 -46%
(13,700) 16,269 n.a. Income (2,447) 38,404 n.a.
Adjusted NOI
(6,588) (3,347) n.a. * 4,665 18,788 -75%
* Adjusted = excludes non-recurring items

2003 vs 2002
The Marketing division result was strongly influenced by the
provision that was taken in the Dubai Suppy & Trading office in the
fourth quarter of 2003. This provision of EUR 7.1 million was made to
cover an outstanding claim. The adjusted gross profit over the year
was down by 11%. Adjusted Net operating income decreased by EUR 14.1
million to EUR 4.7 million. The 2002 result was adjusted for
primarily non-recurring sales proceeds of EUR 20.9 million from the
sale of the Swiss bitumen marketing business.

Q4 2003 vs Q4 2002
The fourth quarter results include the provision for the Dubai
office. Adjusted gross profit was down by EUR 2.3 million relative to
the same period in 2002. The adjusted net operating income was minus
EUR 6.6 million compared to minus EUR 3.3 million in 2002.

Operational developments
Supply & Trading
Operationally, the Dubai Supply & Trading office started 2003 with
very encouraging results continuing its profitable start late 2002.
In the course of the third quarter 2003 however, the results
deteriorated sharply and resulted in a full year loss. Furthermore,
as stated on 11 February 2004, Petroplus made a provision in its 2003
accounts to cover a claim its Dubai office has, following the
non-performance of an important counter party. As a result of these
events Petroplus has decided to transfer the management of the Dubai
activities to its European Supply & Trading head office in Zug. The
Dubai office became a representative and originating office as of
1 January 2004.
The wholesale activities had a difficult second half of 2003 with
particularly the German and United Kingdom activities showing
disappointing fourth quarter results. The German activities were
impacted by mild weather, high Rhine freight rates increasing the
cost of importing product and the market structure (backwardated).
The current business portfolio of activities in Germany has recently
been evaluated and Petroplus is considering its position.
In the United Kingdom (UK), margins were down relative to the same
period last year. Petroplus has also recently completed an evaluation
of its UK wholesale activities. This has led to the decision to
reduce the number of terminals it distributes from in order to create
savings in working capital and a more effective distribution network.
Biodiesel Plus sales increased further in the fourth quarter
benefiting from the increased blending capacity.
Swiss inland sales benefited strongly from the high Rhine freight
Frisol had a good fourth quarter and has successfully expanded its
activities. North Sea Petroleum (NSP) however continues to be
affected by lower volumes. Both companies are impacted by the strong
Euro against the US dollar, resulting in depressed net margins in the
ARA region (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp).
Retail (Tango)
Tango's profitability over the fourth quarter was good. At the end of
2003, Tango had 67 stations of which 2 were under construction; 62 in
The Netherlands, 4 of which 1 under construction in Belgium and 1
under construction in Spain.


EUR (000)
Q4 2003 Q4 2002 % change Logistics 2003 2002 % change
unaudited audited
6,699 7,487 -11% Net Sales 26,014 30,813 -16%
8,366 8,364 0% Gross Profit 32,005 37,236 -14%
3,897 1,167 234% EBITDA 13,407 14,917 -10%
Net Operating
2,825 119 2274% Income 9,410 11,535 -18%

2003 vs 2002
The Logistics division showed a decrease in Gross Profit over the
full year which is explained by the backwardated market over 2003.
Over the full year, the average backwardation for gas oil was
USD 3.76 per MT while over 2002, there was a slight contango of USD
0.46 per MT. Net Operating Income decreased by EUR 2.1 million to EUR
9.4 million in 2003 (EUR 11.5 million in 2002).

Q4 2003 vs Q4 2002
The Gross Profit over the fourth quarter remained practically
unchanged relative to last year despite an increase of the
backwardation in the 2003 fourth quarter. Net operating income
increased to EUR 2.8 million (EUR 0.1 million in 2002).

Operational developments
There were no significant events or developments within the tank
storage activities of the logistics division in the fourth quarter.
Dragon LNG
Petroplus made significant progress in the fourth quarter in
developing the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Milford Haven,
Wales. On 12 November 2003, Petroplus signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with BG Energy Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of
BG Group plc, for the joint development, ownership and operation of
the project.
On 18 December 2003, Petroplus also signed a Letter of Intent (LoI)
with Petroliam Nasional Berhad ("Petronas") also for the joint
development, ownership and operations of the project.
BG and Petronas intend to acquire an equity stake of respectively 50%
and 30% in Dragon LNG, a special purpose project company already
established by Petroplus to develop the project. Petroplus will
retain a 20% share in the project.
In addition, BG and Petronas initially intend to use 3 billion cubic
meters per annum each, equivalent to one tank each and therefore
equal to the initial two tank project. Petroplus has planning
permission for the construction of a possible third tank.
Provided that over the coming months the project continues to develop
in line with expectations, construction will start in the second half
of 2004. The signing of the Heads of Agreement with Petronas on 5
March 2004 is an important milestone in the process. Completion of
the transactions with both partners is also expected to take place in
the second half of 2004 at which point Petroplus anticipates to
realise a book profit which is significantly higher than EUR 50

Other Businesses & Central Overheads

EUR (000) Other
Q4 2003 Q4 2002 % change Businesses 2003 2002 % change
Unaudited audited
28,438 29,469 -3% Net Sales 127,530 132,210 -4%
1,697 1,673 1% Gross Profit 7,522 7,911 -5%
(3,763) (3,010) n.a. EBITDA (7,101) (6,679) n.a.
(1,763) (1,287) n.a. EBITDA * (5,101) (2,456) n.a.
Net Operating
(6,433) (3,648) n.a. Income (11,657) (11,985) n.a.
(2,333) (1,925) n.a. Adjusted NOI * (7,557) (7,762) n.a.
* Adjusted = excludes non-recurring items

2003 vs 2002
Gross profit for the Other Businesses activities and Central Overhead
costs was down 5% relative to 2002 and amounted to EUR 7.5 million
(EUR 7.9 million in 2002). The adjusted Net operating income was
minus EUR 7.6 (minus EUR 7.8 million in 2002).

Q4 2003 vs Q4 2002
The Gross Profit over the fourth quarter remained nearly unchanged
relative to 2002 at EUR 1.7 million. The adjusted Net operating
income was minus EUR 2.3 million (minus EUR 1.9 in 2002). Part of the
costs and write-down associated with the Antwerp refinery impacted
the Petroplus International Holding.

Operational developments
There were no significant developments within the Other Businesses
group in the fourth quarter. Oxyde Chemicals was unable to maintain
its strong performance from earlier in the year. Petroplus has been
successful in further reducing its central overhead costs in 2003
with further benefits anticipated in 2004.

Recent Developments
Sale of Tango completed
As announced on 1 March 2004, Petroplus has successfully completed
the sale of Tango to Kuwait Petroleum Nederland BV ("Kuwait
Petroleum"), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Under the
terms of the sale and purchase agreement, the transfer of the
activities took place on 1 March 2004. As also previously indicated,
Petroplus has received a total cash consideration of approximately
EUR 72 million for its 95% shareholding, net of working capital and
all transaction fees and realised a book profit of approximately EUR
52 million. The proceeds from the sale will be accounted for in the
first quarter of 2004.
The proceeds of the Tango divestment will be used to improve the
balance sheet of the group.

Credit Rating Agencies
On 11 February 2004, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's
placed the Petroplus rating on CreditWatch with negative outlook.
Petroplus' current corporate credit rating is B+ while the debt
rating on the senior unsecured bonds is B-.

Petroplus faces a number of important developments in 2004:
finalisation of the restructuring of the Antwerp refinery;
realisation of a number of important milestones for Dragon LNG
project ultimately leading to financial close in the latter half of
the year and streamlining the German wholesale activities.

Looking back, 2003 was a year in which refining margins improved
significantly relative to 2002. However, 2003 also showed ULSD
premiums and Rhine freight tariffs that were very volatile which
combined with a weak US dollar had a negative impact on the results
of Petroplus.
Petroplus has been very cautious over the last 18 months in making
forward looking statements. With continued uncertainty surrounding
economic recovery and the above mentioned developments, Petroplus
will maintain its cautious position and refrain from providing an
outlook for 2004. Petroplus will further develop the LNG project and
continue the restructuring process aimed at deleveraging the balance
sheet and stabilising cash flows.

Webcast announcement
A presentation of the 2003 annual results by the Executive Board of
Petroplus will be webcast live at 10:00 CET on 9 March 2004. The
presentation can be accessed through the Petroplus website
( The presentation will also be
archived on the website permitting viewing after the 9 March.

2003 non recurring items

EUR 000 Division Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total

Provision for claim
by Dubai office Marketing 7,112 7,112
Gross Profit impact 7,112 7,112

reorganisation cost &
expense Refining 8,416 8,416
Antwerp Other Businesses 2,000 2,000
reorganisation cost & (Petroplus
expense International)
EBITDA impact 17,528 17,528

Write down of Antwerp
crude unit Refining 40,000 14,288- 25,712
Write down of Antwerp Other Businesses 2,100 2,100
crude unit (goodwill) (Petroplus
Net Operating Income
impact 40,000 5,340 45,340

Various Other Businesses 1,611 1,611

Net Income impact 40,000 6,951 46,951

Key Petroplus Market Indicators

2003 2002
Min / ave / max min / ave / max
Refining Margin USD/bbl 1.01 / 2.18 / 5.03 (0.28) / 0.56 / 1.98
ULSD premium vs
GO fob USD/MT 5.3 / 19.0 / 95.8 11.5 / 21.7 / 38.8
ULSD premium vs
GO cif USD/MT (13.5) / 13.0 / 68.0 4.8 / 17.3 / 34.5
Rhine Freight
tariff CHF/MT 11.5 / 31.6 / 96.5 11.3 / 16.5 / 39.5
Dated Brent
Crude USD/bbl 23.1 / 28.7 / 34.3 18.9 / 25.2 / 31.3
exchange rage 1.04 / 1.13 / 1.26 0.86 / 0.95 / 1.05
for Brent USD/MT (0.75) / (0.36) / (0.09) (0.54) / (0.13) / 0.12
for GO USD/MT (15.88) / (3.76) / 0.59 (5.25) / 0.46 / 2.14

Petroplus Theoretical Refining Margin
Definition: The Petroplus theoretical margin is based
upon the assumption that the three refineries are fully operational
and producing products in line with the published yield of the three
refineries. Note: see the analyst presentation for yield details as
per 31/12/2002.
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average margin per month

ULSD premium vs GO fob:
Definition: The difference (premium) between the price
quotation of 10 ppm ULSD barges FOB Rotterdam and Gas oil 0.2 barges
FOB Rotterdam as published by Platts
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average premium on a
daily basis

ULSD premium vs GO cif:
Definition: The difference (premium) between the price
quotation of 10 ppm ULSD barges FOB Rotterdam and Gas oil 0.2 cargoes
CIF NWE as published by Platts
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average premium on a
daily basis

Rhine Freight Tariff:
Definition: The Rhine freight tariff for Gas oil
Rotterdam to Basel as published by Reuters
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average tariff on a daily

Dated Brent Crude:
Definition: The price quotation for Dated Brent as
published by Platts
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average premium on a
daily basis

USD/EUR exchange rage:
Definition: Exchange rate (source:
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average rate on a daily

Contango (Backwardation) for GO & Brent:
Definition: The difference between the first and second
month futures price of GO and Brent respectively as published by
Platts. If the first month is higher than the second month, the
difference is negative (backwardated market). If the first month is
lower than the second month, the difference is positive (market in
Time frame: Maximum, minimum and average based on monthly

Gross Profit (as used in the financial statements):
Definition: Net Sales proceeds minus Cost of Sales,
defined as direct operating costs including the purchase of raw
materials, refinery production costs and other costs of goods sold.

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Note to editors

Profile of Petroplus International NV
Petroplus International NV ("Petroplus") was established 10 years ago
and has since developed into a leading player in the European
midstream oil market. The midstream sector encompasses refining,
marketing and logistics (predominantly tank storage).

Petroplus is the owner of refineries in Antwerp (Belgium), Cressier
(Switzerland) and Teesside (United Kingdom) with a total capacity of
240,000 barrels per day including is Antwerp desulphurisation
capacity. Petroplus has a sales volume in excess of 20 million tonnes
a year of oil products and a storage capacity of almost 5 million m³
throughout Western Europe.

Petroplus, with its head office in Rotterdam and regional head
offices in Zug and Hamburg, has branch offices in more than 20
countries and employs approx. 1000 employees. Petroplus International
NV is publicly listed in the NextPrime segment of Euronext,

Petroplus, with its head office in Rotterdam and regional head
offices in Zug and Hamburg, has branch offices in more than 20
countries and employs approx. 1000 employees. Petroplus International
NV has been listed on the Official Market of Euronext Amsterdam since
14 July 1998.

Reuters: PPV.AS
Bloomberg: PETR NA

For further information, please contact:
Petroplus International NV:
Marcel van Poecke, Willem Willemstein
Executive Board

Martijn Schuttevâer, Investor Relations Manager
tel: +31 10 242 5900
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