Australian fuel supplier Viva Energy on Monday posted a full-year profit compared with a loss last year, as global demand for energy recovered from the lows of the COVID-19 pandemic and boosted refining margins.

Viva and larger rival Ampol, operators of Australia’s last two refineries, have suffered because of pandemic-led lockdowns of the past two years. The companies are now experiencing a rapid recovery in fuel demand with curbs mostly eased and air travel picking up.

“Refining business benefited from strengthening refining margins during the final quarter on the back of strong global demand for energy,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Wyatt.

Viva’s net profit after tax on a replacement cost basis was A$191.6 million (US$137.38 million) for the year ended Dec 31, 2021 compared with a loss of A$33.4 million a year earlier.

The company said that rising oil prices hit profitability at its retail segment, and that higher fuel prices may hurt demand in the short-term.

It also declares a final dividend of 3.2 Australian cents per share.

Extracted in full from: Australia’s Viva Energy swings to annual profit as demand recovers – CNA (