(Reuters) -- Hungarian oil
and gas group MOL launched a cost cutting drive aimed at boosting profitability,
as the suspension of production in Syria drove a year-on-year fall in
MOL said it aimed to boost earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation at its downstream business by USD500-550 million by 2014, with
about 60 percent of that improvement coming from cost cuts.
Among a broad range of initiatives, the group said it planned to make
efficiency improvements at five refineries and two petrochemical units.
An improved performance from the downstream business helped MOL to report a
smaller-than-expected fall in first-quarter net profit to 73.7 billion forints
(USD324 million). That was down from 92.7 billion forints in the same period of
"2012 is expected to be a challenging year especially when considering the
announced 'force majeure' in Syria or the tough refinery and petrochemical
environment," MOL's Chairman and Chief Executive Zsolt Hernadi said in a