Refining NZ has posted a bumper profit of $151 million for 2015 after a record year for the company.

The result is one of the best ever posted by the NZX50 listed company and a 1500 per cent improvement on the 2014 net profit after tax of $10 million.

The company, which owns and operates the Marsden Point oil refinery, credits the 2015 net profit after tax (NPAT) to its highly reliable refinery.

Chief executive officer Sjoerd Post said running a highly reliable plant had allowed New Zealand's only refinery to "cash in" on a healthy business environment.


" ... we've been able to capitalise on high margins - which have been held up by the strong global demand for petrol, particularly in the US, China and India - while benefiting from a better US$/NZ$ exchange rate."

He said 2015 was a record year, with the refinery processing more crude oil than ever (42.6 million barrels), and earning record fees from processing - $379 million.

Mr Post said 2015 was also a standout for the Te Mahi Hou team which, after four years of engineering and construction, started the refinery's $365 million petrol-making unit in late November, on budget and three weeks early. "Te Mahi Hou is significant. It allows our refinery to make an extra two million barrels of petrol a year, lifts our share of the New Zealand petrol market by around 10 per cent and by improving energy efficiency, drops our CO2 emissions by around 120,000 tonnes a year."

Mr Post said the company will continue to invest in lifting its performance and in the absence of another project the size of Te Mahi Hou, will focus on smaller growth projects with attractive pay back periods.

Refining NZ confirmed a final dividend to shareholders of 20 cents per share.

With an interim dividend of five cents paid in September, the company's shareholders will receive a total dividend of 25 cents per share for the year.

Refinery communications and external affairs manager Greg McNeill said as well as the refinery's reliability and the global market, other factors had also contributed to the stand-out performance.

However, he said a small "drop-off in demand" could be expected as China's economy continued in the doldrums.