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Service station group Caltex says it has made $172 million in first-quarter profit after tax, up from $161 million in the same period a year ago.

The unaudited trading update includes a replacement cost of sales operating profit – which removes oil price fluctuations – of $155 million, in line with the prior corresponding period’s $154 million result.

Total domestic sales volumes of fuel for the first quarter amounted to 4.1 billion litres, up about three per cent on a year ago.

The company also said ‘excluding unfavourable externalities’ of $7 million, the underlying first quarter profit after tax was up just over one per cent.

Sales of transport fuels from production totalled 1.578 billion litres, up eight per cent but a lower refiner margin has resulted in the group’s Lytton refinery in Brisbane recording a 28 per cent decline in first quarter earnings before interest and tax from $66 million a year ago to $47 million in the quarter.

The average realised Caltex refiner margin, the difference between the cost of importing a standard basket of products and the cost of importing crude oil, was $US9.40 per barrel, down $US2.82 per barrel compared with the prior corresponding period average of $US12.22 per barrel.

Shares in Caltex were up 46 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $30.33 at 1126 AEST.