Z Energy reports sharp fall in profit as petrol prices rise

Z Energy reports sharp fall in profit as petrol prices rise
Photo credit: Getty.

Z Energy has reported a sharp fall in profits, despite petrol prices hitting a record high in New Zealand.

New Zealand's largest fuel retailer suffered a 31 percent fall in profits in the six months to the end of September.

The announcement of the drop comes during a tumultuous time for petrol prices, with crude oil prices rising 25 percent, the NZ dollar falling and fuel taxes being introduced in Auckland.

"Given the volatility in crude prices and exchange rates, we are taking a cautious view on the second half of the financial year," Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts said.

"Margins typically come under pressure when crude prices rise steeply, as prices at the pump lag behind the increases in the price of crude oil, and customers are sensitive to new, higher price points."

Z Energy has decreased forecasted profit, and now expects to make within the range of $400 million and $435 million.

Mr Bennetts said he understands high fuel prices have an effect on household budgets and businesses, and that "customers want to know that they are at least paying a fair price".

A Facebook event asking motorists to boycott all petrol stations for a day last week gathered 40,000 respondents.