Serbian oil producer NIS reports 50.7% yr/yr drop in 9-mo profit

BELGRADE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Serbian oil company NIS , majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, reported on Friday a 50.7% drop in January-September profit to 10.7 billion Serbian dinars ($100.67 million) due to heavy spending on investments.

Nine-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at 31.2 billion dinars, down 21% compared to last year.

From January through September, the company processed 2.3 million tonnes of crude oil and semi-refined products at its refinery in Pancevo, 13 km (8 miles) north of Belgrade, down from 2.7 million tonnes a year before.

Its annual average output is 1.7 million tonnes of oil and gas equivalent.

The company’s investments increased 6% on the year, it said in a statement.

In March, it started building a 200-megawatt gas-fired cogeneration plant, a joint project with China’s Shanghai Electric Group seen costing an estimated 180 million euros ($198.77 million).

One of the biggest contributors to Serbia’s budget, NIS operates two refineries, plus fields in Serbia, Angola and Bosnia.

NIS shares traded at 615 dinars, up 0.15% from Thursday’s close on Belgrade’s stock exchange BELEX.

Gazprom Neft owns 56.15% of NIS, while the Serbian government holds 29.88% and small shareholders the rest. ($1 = 106.2900 Serbian dinars) ($1 = 0.9056 euros) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo)