Management shakeup at German unit of Orlen

28th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2005, ELMSHORN, GERMANY - In a management shakeup at the troubled German unit of Poland's oil group PKN Orlen, chief executive Jean- Jacques Verschueren has left as Orlen tries to figure out a way to make a profit from its service-station chain.

28 June 2005

ELMSHORN, GERMANY - In a management shakeup at the troubled German unit of Poland's oil group PKN Orlen, chief executive Jean- Jacques Verschueren has left as Orlen tries to figure out a way to make a profit from its service-station chain.

He is to be replaced in the interim by finance director Josef Niedworok, Orlen Deutschland said from its offices in Elmshorn outside Hamburg.

Verschueren, a Belgian with previous experience at Shell and Aral, ran the German unit from its launch in 2003 as the newest brand in Germany's highly competitive petrol-station sector.

Orlen bought nearly 500 filling stations, mostly in the north of Germany, from Aral and BP when those two companies merged and were told by German competition authorities to shed some of their chains.

But the stations, operating under the Orlen and Star brands, have failed to turn a profit. Margins at German filling stations are so tight that the whole industry has been complaining. German motorists drive long distances to save a couple of cents per litre on fuel.

Last year's sales of EUR 2 billion produced a loss of EUR 18.5 million at Orlen Germany, and the group lost a further EUR 8 million in first-quarter 2005.

Reports say management in Warsaw have considered pulling out of Germany, but are now trying instead to acquire another 100 filling stations from Osnabrueck-based Beckmann Mineraloelhandel in the hope of achieving economies of scale.

"The talks are going well, but there has been no decision yet," said an Orlen Germany director, Michal Jonczynski.

DPA

Subject: German news

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