Oil price hits Lytton profit in downsized Caltex

The Lytton lubricants refinery in Brisbane has seen profit halved in the past year in the downsized manufacturing arm of oil refiner and petrol retailer Caltex.

The company told investors that EBIT for the lubricants and oils plant this calendar year was likely to be between $75 and $85 million, down from $161 million the year before.

The refinery, which produces engine oils, driveline fluids, coolants, specialty lubricants, hydraulic oils, industrial products, greases and cleaners, was hit by high crude prices in the first half.

Conditions returned to more typical levels in the second half, but profits were hit by ‘freight market spikes, rising landed crude oil premiums and seasonally lower yield’ in the latest half.

Expected sales for the year were 5.5 BL, down from six the year before.

Lytton has its own sea berth and operates on a single shift operation.

Caltex like others in the refining sector have downsized in recent years, leaving Australia highly dependent on imported refined petroleum products.

The company converted its Kurnell refinery in Sydney in 2014 to an import terminal, at the cost of 300 jobs.

Picture: Caltex

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