Annual Report 2018

60 Years Energy – 20 Years HELPE


In 1955, the construction contract for the Aspropyrgos refinery, the first crude oil refinery in Greece, is signed. Construction began in 1956 and two years later, in 1958, the new refinery in Aspropyrgos starts operations. In 1966, the Greek entrepreneur Tom Pappas inaugurates the ESSO PAPPAS refinery in West Thessaloniki.


In 1971, the PETROLA HELLAS refinery in Elefsina of I. Latsis Group is commissioned. In 1975, the PUBLIC PETROLEUM CORPORATION S.A. (“DEP”) is established and the HELLENIC ASPROPYRGOS REFINERIES S.A. (“ELDA”) is acquired by the Greek State, which fully controls the refining, distribution and trading of oil products.


The Greek State acquires ESSO's activities in Greece, which are renamed EKO Group. In 1985, the Greek State establishes DEP-EKY for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.

In 1988, the Public Gas Corporation S.A. (“DEPA”) is established. DEP undertakes - on behalf of the Greek State - the refining and distribution of refined products in the domestic market and acquires ELDA and DEPA.


The oil market is liberalized; DEP acquires the EKO Group and consolidates its position in the refining and distribution of oil products through the ELDA and EKO refineries. DEP, through its subsidiary DEP-EKY, takes part in exploration concessions in Western Greece as part of the Enterprise and Triton consortiums.


In 1998, the subsidiaries of the DEP Group are merged and renamed HELLENIC PETROLEUM S.A. and its shares are listed on the Athens and London Stock Exchanges. Over the next few years, the HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group expands its activities to Skopje, Albania, Cyprus, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria. The Greek State launches a second public offering of the shares of HELLENIC PETROLEUM SA. In 2003, HELLENIC PETROLEUM SA merges with PETROLA HELLAS SA through which the Group acquires the Elefsina refinery. The Group becomes active in the production and trading of electricity, through the construction and operation of a 390 MW CCGT plant in Thessaloniki. In 2007, ELPEDISON BV is established in cooperation with the Italian EDISON SpA, with the aim of further strengthening the Group’s presence in the field of electricity generation and trading.


The Group implements its strategy for asset base modernization strategy through the upgrade of the Elefsina and Thessaloniki refineries which was the largest private industrial investment in Greece (2008-2012) and strengthening of its position in the domestic petroleum market, through the acquisition of BP's fuels marketing business in Greece in 2009. In addition, a competitiveness improvement program is implemented, through a series of initiatives across the Group’s range of activities, with significant financial benefits.
The operation of the Elefsina refinery is optimized, the efficiency of all units significantly improves and substantial synergies between the three refineries are created. Improving competitiveness enables the further internationalization of. the Group's business model, with exports exceeding 50% of total sales.

ELPEDISON proceeds with a second power plant (CCGT) in Thisvi Viotia, with a 420 MW capacity, which starts commercial operation in 2011. In Upstream the Group develops an exploration portfolio in Greece in collaboration with leading companies in the sector. In 2013, the Group successfully completes the first Eurobond issue after the crisis amounting to €500 million, with additional issues exceeding €1 billion in the following years, making the Group the largest independent Greek issuer in the international capital markets. Performance significantly improves across business achieving historical highs in profitability, production and sales, whilst maintaining focus on sustainability.

Message to Shareholders

E. Tsotsoros
Chairman of BoD and CEO
Dear Shareholders

In 2018, the period of surveillance for the Greek economy came to an end, following the successful conclusion of the final economic adjustment programme in August. The recovery of the Greek economy accelerated in 2018, with GPD growth rate at 1.9% and expected to reach 2.4% in 2019.

Those significant factors improved confidence in the Greek economy and drove the developments which enabled the increased bank liquidity and further relaxation of restrictions on capital movement, the upgrade of Greece’s credit rating and the successful issue of a five-year bond in February 2019, the first step in the country’s process towards normality.

Message to Shareholders

A. Shiamishis
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
and Chief Financial Officer
Dear Shareholders

2018 marked the 60th anniversary of Aspropyrgos refinery and the 20th year since the formation of HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group. During this year, the Group reported strong results, promoted value adding strategic initiatives and above all achieved improved and safe operations of its production units.

While the financial performance of Refining, Supply & Trading business, being our main activity, reflects developments in international refining environment, it is determined by strategic initiatives in respect of investment decisions and their implementation. The consistently positive results of the last few years are indicative of the strong foundation and reflect the choices made, as well as the successful completion of the strategic refineries upgrade program.

2018 Highlights

€730 mn
Strong profitability maintained with Adjusted EBITDA
€229 mn
Increased return to shareholders
Financial Cost reduction over the last five years
€1.7 bn
Social product to various stakeholders (incl. indirect taxes)
€1.5 bn
Improved Balance Sheet
9.4 mn T
Total exports (+12%)
Performance improve reached the highest levels in recent years

Group Strategy

Having successfully implemented an important development and transformation program in 2007-2012 over the last five years, the Group focused on taking full advantage of its investments and maximizing economic return, thereby achieving the objectives set in 2013 to increase profitability and improve its balance sheet.

Leveraging Investments to Improve Results & Safety

  • Optimization of the new refining model, maximizing the full potential of all three refineries, as well as the synergies between them.
  • Further development of international trading activities in the Mediterranean and the Balkans.

Performance Improvement; Energy and Digital Transformation

Transformation Program 2019-2023, with anticipated benefits of €100 million, which includes:

  • Operational and cost optimisation, benchmarking versus the safest and most competitive European refi neries
  • Implementing Energy Transformation plans across business units with the aim of improving the environmental footprint, while capturing economic benefits

Investments in Refining and Development In RES

  • Emphasis on enhancing the performance of conversion units and improving the refining margin in all manufacturing facilities of the Group
  • Development of a significant Renewable Energy Sources portfolio

Maximising Activities’ Portfolio Value

  • Further increase vertical integration of International Marketing and Petrochemicals with Refining
  • Invest in International Marketing in order to strengthen the Group’s position in the main regional markets.
  • Focus on the Exploration of Hydrocarbons in Greece in cooperation with international partners

Deleveraging Group

  • Gradual deleverage from cash flow increased.
  • Reduction of Gross Debt and financial costs.

The Group’s financial position strengthened further, as financial costs recorded further decrease of 12% in 2018, following the successful completion of the refinancing program, while gearing ratio reached 38%, the lowest since 2009, in line with Group’s long-term strategy.

Developing Human Resources

  • Focus on developing our people and their expertise through investing in continuous training
  • Establish a culture of excellence and reward in all of our activities

Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

  • The Group’s contribution and responsible attitude towards the community as a whole, in collaboration with institutions, volunteer organizations and NGOs, are directed to 5 key axes:Vulnerable Social Groups & Health, Youth and Education, Sustainable Cities and Environment, Culture, Sports