HELSINKI, April 24 (Reuters) - Finnish biofuel producer and oil refiner Neste on Friday reported a 8% rise in its first quarter earnings, lagging analysts’ forecasts.
The rise mainly reflected a weak comparison period in the first quarter of last year before it wrote off its loss-making Nynas venture.
Neste, which is investing heavily in renewables, said its January-March comparable operating profit rose to 408 million euros ($439 million), missing an average forecast of 422 million expected by analysts, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
Neste’s board also proposed its first dividend installment, 0.46 euros per share, to be paid on May 28 but said it would leave a decision on the payment of a second installment worth 0.56 euros per share until October. ($1 = 0.9294 euros) (Reporting by Anne Kauranen and Tarmo Virki; Editing by Susan Fenton)