MILAN, May 14 (Reuters) - Italian oil refiner Saras will open a trading business in Geneva also with the aim of further developing cooperation with its Russian investor Rosneft < ROSN.MM>, Saras Chairman Gian Marco Moratti said on Thursday when the company released higher core profits.
Saras said an improved market scenario and a rebound in refining margins led to a sharp increase in comparable core earnings, which rose to 144.2 million euros ($165 million) in the first quarter from 8.4 million euros a year ago.
That figure was below a 155 million euro analyst consensus provided by the company.
"The second quarter is proceeding in a very positive manner," Moratti said in a statement.
First-quarter adjusted net profit was 54.5 million euros, against a loss of 40.4 million euros a year ago, while revenues fell 28 percent to 1.985 billion euros. ($1 = 0.8753 euros) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Agnieszka Flak)