Refiner Neste Third-Quarter Profit Misses Expectations

Finnish oil refiner Neste Oil's comparable third-quarter operating profit fell more than expected, dented by increasing fixed costs and lower freight rates, which pulled its shipping unit to a loss.

Neste's comparable operating profit for July through September fell to 159 million euros ($229 million) from 202 million euros a year earlier, below the average forecast of 176 million in a Reuters poll of 14 analysts, but within the range of estimates.

"Global demand for petroleum products is expected to remain healthy and the amount of new capacity coming on stream limited in the near future," Neste said in a statement on Tuesday.

Neste Oil's chief financial officer Petri Pentti told Reuters the key diesel production line at Neste's Porvoo refinery has started after a maintenance shutdown and would reach full production in a few weeks.

The refiner repeated it expects the new line to increase its total refining margin by more than $2 per barrel.

Neste's refining margin was $10.20 in the third quarter, compared with analysts' average forecast of $10.21 in the poll.