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Delek Group Sees Positive Q4, '09 Results

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Delek Group, parent company to the MAPCO Express chain of convenience stores, saw revenues decrease 6 percent for the full year 2009, but was able to increase net income. Group revenues for the full year 2009 were NIS 43.4 billion ($11.6 billion USD), while net income totaled NIS 869 million ($232.7 million), compared with a net loss of NIS 542 million ($145.1 million) in fiscal 2008.

"2009 started in the midst of a global crisis and ended as one of the most successful years in our history," Asaf Bartfeld, CEO of Delek Group, said in a statement. "The strong results that we reported today are as a direct consequence of the correct strategic actions that were taken by the management of Delek Group and its subsidiaries throughout the past year to navigate the downturn … We have emerged from the challenges of the last year in a very strong position, with the strength to take advantage of new opportunities in the market."

In the company's U.S. unit, net income in 2009 was NIS 33 million ($8.8 million), compared with NIS 3 million ($803,427) in 2008. Net operating profit contribution from Delek US' refining and marketing sectors was NIS 277 million ($74.1 million) for the full year 2009, a jump from the NIS 42 million ($11.2 million) in 2008.

For the company's U.S. convenience stores, net operating profit contribution amounted to a loss of NIS 36 million ($9.6 million), compared with NIS 146 million ($39.1 million) in 2008. There was weak demand for fuel and merchandise during the first half of 2009, due to the general economic weakness. However, business improved during the second half of the year, which the company said signals a "broad-based stabilization" in the company's core Southeastern U.S. markets.

Delek US' refining results were affected by weak Gulf Coast refining economics, as well as an increase in direct operating expenses per barrel. During 2009, the company's Tyler refinery was offline between November 2008 and May 2009, due to a fire at the facility. Delek US benefited from gross insurance proceeds as a result of business interruption insurance and the company anticipated receiving additional insurance proceeds during 2010.

Fourth Quarter Results
The company also detailed its group fourth quarter 2009 results, which saw a 58 percent increase in revenues to NIS 11.6 billion ($3.1 billion). The lower 2008 revenues were due to lower gasoline sales in Israel, Europe and the U.S., as well as lower crude oil prices and revenues from its U.S. refinery.

Net income for the fourth quarter totaled NIS 424 million ($113.5 million), reversing the net loss of NIS 1.438 billion ($385 million) in the fourth quarter of 2008. The improvement was attributed to an improvement across all sectors in which the company does business, particularly the financial and insurance sector, and capital gains.

"Looking ahead to 2010 and beyond, we intend to maintain our focus on the group's core businesses of energy and infrastructure, automotive and finance -- all of which remain the engines of future growth of the group," Bartfeld said.

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