UPDATE 1-Portugal's Galp Energia beats profit expectations
* Net profit 189 mln euros vs avg analysts' forecasts 150 mln
* EBITDA up 64 pct at 446 mln euros vs forecast of 433 mln
* New production platform in Brazil coming online ahead of plan (Adds refining margin, new Brazil rig ahead of schedule, shares)
LISBON, July 27 (Reuters) - Portugal's Galp Energia posted an adjusted quarterly net profit nearly triple year-ago levels, beating expectations, and lifted its pretax earnings estimates for the year by almost 20 percent.
The improvement was due to a recovery in refining margins and a steep increase in oil output in Brazil, where Galp expects a new offshore oil production platform on the Iracema North field to start pumping crude in the coming days, one quarter ahead of schedule.
Two other floating production and storage platforms were on track to start producing at the giant Lula/Iracema field in the first half of next year, Galp said in a presentation.
Galp, which said earlier this month that oil output in the second quarter rose by 65 percent, raised its forecast for 2015 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to between 1.3 billion euros ($1.44 billion) and 1.5 billion euros from 1.1 billion to 1.3 billion.
It expects an average working interest daily output of 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2015, practically in line with that achieved in the second quarter.
Galp had a net profit of 189 million euros in the April-June period, up from 68 million euros a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 64 percent to 446 million euros. The results are adjusted to reflect changes in the company's stocks of crude.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast, on average, an adjusted net profit of 150 million euros and EBITDA of 433 million euros. Galp shares rose 1.4 percent in early trading, outperforming the broader market in Lisbon, off 0.3 percent.
Galp's refining margin in the quarter soared to $7.3 per barrel from minus $0.2 a year earlier and from $5.9 in the first quarter of 2015, also exceeding the market's benchmark margin of $5.2, the company said. ($1 = 0.9090 euros) (Reporting by Andrei Khalip, editing by Louise Heavens)
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