April 27, 2018 / 2:45 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Mexican state oil company Pemex turns $6 bln profit on oil prices

(Adds details from conference call)

MEXICO CITY, April 27 (Reuters) - Mexican state-run oil company Pemex said on Friday its net profit rose 29 percent in the first quarter compared with the year-earlier quarter, helped by higher crude prices and currency movements.

The company, one of the largest in Latin America, reported a profit of 113.3 billion pesos ($6.2 billion) in the first three months of the year. Revenue rose 14 percent to 397.4 billion pesos.

Pemex said the company benefited from growing crude prices, which rose to $56.42 from $44.15 in the quarter, helping push export sales up 23.8 percent.

Sales in Mexico, particularly gasoline and diesel, also rose 9.2 percent due to higher prices.

Mexico’s peso also strengthened more than 7 percent against the dollar in the first quarter.

In a subsequent conference call with analysts on Friday, executives said Pemex expects to process around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) domestically toward the end of this year, and that the company processed an average of 598,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2018.

Pemex executives also told analysts the troubled Salina Cruz refinery in southern Mexico was processing 243,800 bpd at the end of March.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government enacted a wide-ranging reform in 2013-2014 to encourage foreign energy investment and boost the slackening oil output, ending Pemex’s monopoly in the sector.

Pemex’s crude and natural gas production were both lower in the first quarter than the same period last year. ($1 = 18.303 pesos at end-March) (Reporting by Christine Murray and Ana Isabel Martinez; writing by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

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