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Ecopetrol Group Announces Its Results for the First Quarter of 2015

-- The Group's production maintained its growth trend, averaging 773.4 mboed in the first quarter of 2015. Production operated by Ecopetrol S.A. increased by 12.6%.

-- Barrancabermeja's gross refining margin reached US$18.2 per barrel, an 11.7% increase as compared with the first quarter of 2014.

-- The Group's consolidated[1] net income reached COP$160 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

BOGOTA, Colombia, May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (BVC: ECOPETROL; NYSE: EC; TSX: ECP) announced today Ecopetrol Group's financial results for the first quarter of 2015, prepared and filed in Colombian pesos (COP$) and on the basis of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). According with the article 3 of the Decree 2784 of December 28, 2012, the application date of the new technical framework is December 31, 2015, so the financial information presented prior to this date is subject to adjustments.

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As indicated in paragraphs 9 and 18 of the International Accounting Standard 27 "Consolidated and Separated Financial Statements" Ecopetrol and its Corporate Group must present their financial information on a consolidated basis as if they were a single entity, combining the financial statements of the parent company and its subsidiaries line by line, adding assets, liabilities, shareholder´s equity, revenues and expenses of similar nature, removing the reciprocal items between the Corporate Group and recognizing the non-controlling interest. 

Our financial results for the first quarter of 2015 and results for the comparable 2014 period were prepared on the basis of IFRS and are not comparable with our previously issued financial results for the first quarter of 2014 which were prepared in accordance with the Public Accounting Regime (Regimen de Contabilidad Publica) as adopted by the Colombian National Accounting Office (Contaduria General de la Nacion).

Some figures in this release are presented in U.S. dollars (US$), as indicated. The exhibits in the main body of this report have been rounded to one decimal.







Summary of the Group's Financial Results






(COP$ Billion)

1Q 2015*

1Q 2014*

 ∆ ($) 

 ∆ (%) 

Total sales

12,300.9

17,971.3

(5,670.4)

(31.6%)

Operating profit

2,357.8

6,264.7

(3,906.9)

(62.4%)

Net Income Consolidated

355.9

4,064.8

(3,708.9)

(91.2%)

Non-controlling interest

195.9

176.7

19.2

10.9%

Equity holders of Ecopetrol**

160.0

3,888.1

(3,728.1)

(95.9%)

Other comprehensive income

1,124.1

(200.0)

1,324.1

(662.1%)

EBITDA

3,148.9

7,864.7

(4,715.8)

(60.0%)

EBITDA Margin

25.6%

43.8%








* These figures are included for illustration purposes only. Unaudited.



** According to IAS-1, "Presentation of financial statements", paragraph 83, the company must include in the statement of comprehensive results the results attributable to non-controlling interest (minority interest) and the results attributable to shareholders of the controlling company.











[1] Net income attributable to Ecopetrol's shareholders under IFRS.  



1Q 2015

1Q 2014

∆ (%)

∆ ($)

Crude oil basket (US$/Bl)

42.9

91.2

(53.0%)

(48.3)

Quarterly average exchange rate COP$/US$

2,469

2,004

23.2%

465.0






In the opinion of Ecopetrol S.A.'s CEO, Juan Carlos Echeverry:

Despite the decline in oil prices, in the first quarter of 2015 the Group reached a positive financial result due to the good performance of its different segments and favorable environment conditions for the operation. 

Thus, operating and financial results of the Group on the first quarter of 2015 were better than those of the fourth quarter of 2014. Particularly, March was the best month of the first quarter of 2015.

With respect to our exploration activities, the first geological success for the year was reported at the Bullerengue-1 well, drilled by Hocol, located in the Sinu-San Jacinto basin, which is expected to support the natural gas supply on the Atlantic Coast region. In addition, we advanced in the drilling activities in the offshore wells Kronos and Calasu, located in the southern Caribbean Sea in partnership with Anadarko as operator (50% - 50%).

Our production activities have recorded four consecutive quarters of growth, reaching 773.4 mboed in the first quarter 2015, a 1% increase as compared to the first and last quarters of 2014. This increase was the result of the start-up of new facilities and wells in the Castilla and Chichimene fields, both of which set production records of 124 mbod and 85 mbod, respectively.

Our affiliated companies increased their production to a total 51.4 mboed, a 5.8% rise as compared to the first quarter of 2014. Highlighting Ecopetrol America's production alone reached 6.4 mboed.

Amid this low crude oil prices scenario, our refining margin has continued to improve, reaching 18.2 US$ per barrel in the first quarter of 2015, a 12% gain as compared to the first quarter of 2014 (16.3 US$ per barrel) and a 15% gain as compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 (15.8 US$ per barrel). The main contributing factors to this result were the operating stability of units and the improvements designed to give value to residual streams.

In transportation, total volumes moved during the first quarter of 2015 were 1,273.5 mbd, a 6% increase compared to 1,200.1 mbd transported during the first quarter of 2014, and 3.3% more compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. This result was primarily due to higher volumes transported in the Cano Limon-Covenas and Oleoducto Transandino systems resulting from the decreased number of attacks on transport infrastructure, which went from 35 attacks on the first quarter of 2014 to 2 attacks in the first quarter of 2015.

International crude oil prices reached its lower level in 6 years during the first quarter of 2015 (Brent 46.6 US$ per barrel on January 13). As a result, our revenues were deeply affected, decreasing from COP$18 trillion to COP$12.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2015, a COP$5.7 trillion decrease (31.6%). The effect of lower sales oil prices (from 101 US$ per barrel to 56 US$ per barrel between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015) caused a decreased of COP$8.2 trillion in our revenue, that was partially offset for the positive exchange rate effect, representing a higher income of COP$2 trillion, COP$200 billion in higher sales volumes and COP$250 billion in higher income from transportation services to third parties due to the effect of the devaluation on the tariffs.

Our cost of sales declined to COP$8.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2015, a 21% decrease as compared to COP$10.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2014. This result was primarily due to the effect of lower oil prices on our purchase costs of crude, gas and refined products, as well as lower fixed costs due to the optimization of maintenance plans and contracted services achieved during the first quarter of 2015.

Operating costs increased by 53% during the first quarter of 2015 as compared to the first quarter of 2014, primarily as a consequence of the recording of the wealth tax applicable for year 2015.

The Colombian peso-U.S. dollar exchange rate had significant effects on the Group's financial expenses. The impact of the depreciation of the Colombian peso over our net liability position resulted in an expense of COP$1.4 trillion during the first quarter of 2015.

Income before taxes for the first quarter of 2015 was COP$828 billion. With the income tax provision of COP$472 billion (57%) resulted in a consolidated net income of COP$160 billion.

Considering the current scenario of low oil prices, we are focused on making our operations more efficient. Our operations will continue focusing on safety, profitability and delivering positive results for our shareholders."

The complete report is available in www.ecopetrol.com.co

Ecopetrol is the largest company in Colombia and is an integrated oil and gas company; it is among the top 40 oil companies in the world and among the top four oil companies in Latin America. Besides Colombia – where it generates over 60% of the national production – it has exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru, the US (Gulf of Mexico) and Angola. Ecopetrol owns the largest refinery in Colombia, most of the pipeline and multi-product pipeline network in the country, and is significantly increasing its participation in bio-fuels.

This release contains statements that may be considered forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All forward-looking statements, whether made in this release or in future filings or press releases or orally, address matters that involve risks and uncertainties, including in respect of the Company's prospects for growth and its ongoing access to capital to fund the Company's business plan, among others. Consequently, changes in the following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements: market prices of oil and gas, our exploration and production activities, market conditions, applicable regulations, the exchange rate, Ecopetrol's competitiveness and the performance of Colombia's economy and industry, to mention a few. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Contacts:
Head of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations (A)
Maria Catalina Escobar
Phone: (+571) 234 5190
E-mail: claudia.trujillo@ecopetrol.com.co

Media Relations (Colombia)
Jorge Mauricio Tellez
Phone: + 571-234-4329
E-mail: mauricio.tellez@ecopetrol.com.co

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090209/ARM001LOGO  

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ecopetrol-group-announces-its-results-for-the-first-quarter-of-2015-300082329.html

SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.

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