Since MOL took over the control of the company in 2009, INA’s operational performance and efficiency have been vastly improved. The first wave of a major efficiency improvement program initiated by MOL already delivers recurring improvements of more than HRK 2.2 billion annually since the program’s inception in 2010. Moreover, from 2009 to 2012, INA’s operating cash profit was almost doubled and its indebtedness decreased significantly.
The 2008 economic recession dramatically impacted energy demand in the region. MOL has therefore advocated for structural reforms to improve INA’s competitiveness to weather this and future economic storms. As a regional player in the volatile energy sector, MOL has long ago realized that the ability to adapt to changing market conditions is indeed critical for INA’s long-term success. Profitable business operations are also essential for the company to maintain sustainable levels of investment.
This is the reason why after taking over the management rights of the company in 2009, MOL prioritized the creation of greater efficiencies in INA, removing detrimental business practices and improving operations and transparency.
MOL therefore introduced several rationalization measures and a dedicated efficiency improvement program (baptised OptINA2 after an earlier efficiency program) that have delivered several billions of kunas since 2008. In the framework of OptINA2, a total of 248 individual initiatives were launched in all INA’s business segments, corporate functions and three subsidiaries of INA (Crosco, STSI and SINACO). As a result EBIT improved by HRK 2.2 billion in three years consisting of cost cuts of about HRK 1.6 billion (EUR 210 million) and an increase in revenues of about HRK 600 million (EUR 80 million). Compared to 2008, controllable costs were cut by almost a third.
Within the OptINA2 programme, one of the first specific areas of INA’s operations that MOL targeted was procurement. The procurement spending optimization (PSO) program, part of OptINA2, was put in place in 2010 and revised all main procurement categories in four phases. This involved the refreshment of the entire supplier pool by identifying 650 new potential suppliers; conducting 350 tenders and concluding 650 contracts. The result were cost reductions totalling HRK 372 million (EUR 50 million) by 2013 against contracts signed before 2009. Savings ranged from 15% to 55% through cutting back on overspending and increasing competition amongst suppliers.
Optimization programs were rolled out in other business areas as well. The broad operational efficiency program delivered further improvements through a number of initiatives, including but not limited to maintenance and consumption savings in upstream, better hydrogen management in refining, general cost reduction and re-contracting at subsidiary companies.
INA put special emphasis on the efficiency of its individual business operations as well:
- INA’s downstream operations were improved through optimizing refinery production to market needs, more flexible production and improved yields supported by proactive crude selection, as well as better resource management in refineries.
- INA’s upstream operations were also streamlined and improved through the Upstream Production Optimization (UPO) Project, yielding savings through, among others, technological enhancements, a reduction of external contractors and maintenance rationalization.
As a result, overall, INA’s operational results have shown strong improvement compared to 2009. EBITDA practically doubled from the level of HRK 2 billion (EUR 300 million) in recent years. This was achieved despite INA’s significant revenue losses stemming from the freezing of its Syria operations.