Austrian oil and gas company OMV has recorded a 61% rise in net income over the calendar year on the back of a strong oil price.

OMV recorded a net income after minorities of €921 million ($1.26 billion) for the year to 31 December 2010 – up on the previous year’s €572 million.

The Group’s oil and gas production stood at 318,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, slightly above last year’s level, helping to boost earnings of the company’s exploration and production arm by 38%.

The company predicted a similar production level for the coming year, but an OMV spokeswoman has warned that the current situation in Libya is not reflected in that outlook.

OMV warned it expected a temporary fall in Libyan output due to unrest there and could not exclude a complete shutdown, Reuters reports.

Libya provided OMV with 33,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2010, around a tenth of its total output.

The company said it expected increased production levels in Yemen due to additional early production facilities coming onstream and in Kazakhstan following solution of the start-up difficulties.

The increased volumes are expected to compensate for the natural decline in Romania and Austria, the company said.

In an announcement, OMV chief executive Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said the company would view 2010 as a year of strong operations and transforming acquisitions.

The company had acquired the Tunisian subsidiaries of Pioneer and took a further 54.14% stake in Turkey’s Petrol Ofisi, gaining sole control of the company, Ruttenstorfer said.

“(We) and will now focus on integrating the company into the Group as well as strengthening Turkey as a third strategic hub,” he said.

OMV’s refining and marketing earnings before interest and tax rose to €225 million due to an improved margin environment, cost savings and positive effects from restructuring in Petrom, which compensated for reduced market demand.

Meanwhile, the company’s logistics business drove up gas and power earnings 9%, benefiting from higher transportation volumes sold.

For the fourth quarter, net income after minorities fell to €88 million from €103 million a year ago, with costs linked to the purchase of Turkey’s Petrol Ofisi were mainly to blame, OMV said.

Petrom posted a net profit of 781 million lei ($253.1 million) in the fourth quarter, above market expectations, the company announced, after recording a net loss of 129 million lei in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Petrom attributed the resultto a favourable oil price and higher sales, adding that it expected the Romanian market to come out of recession this year, “with gradual improvements in the second half.”