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    Alon USA Reports Difficult 2008

    CEO Jeff Morris calls last year one of the most trying in the company's history.

    DALLAS -- Alon USA Energy Inc. reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2008, with net income for the year declining to $82.9 million, a 20 percent fall compared to net income of $103.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007. Excluding special items, Alon recorded net income of $2.6 million for 2008, a 97 percent decrease compared to net income of $99.5 million for the same period last year.

    Net income for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $60.9 million compared to net loss of $39.9 million for the same period last year, according to the Dallas-based company. Excluding special items, Alon recorded net income of $63.1 million for the fourth quarter, compared to net loss of $41.5 million for the same period last year.

    "We have completed one of the most trying years in the history of our company, and have emerged a much stronger organization as a result," Jeff Morris, Alon's president and CEO, said in a statement. "Although we experienced a major fire at our Big Spring refinery Feb. 18, 2008, we were able to resume operations April 5, 2008, in a hydro-skimming mode and were able to resume normal operations … Sept. 26, 2008. This effort substantially completed the rebuild of the units damaged in the fire. We have received funds from our insurers for the full claim of our policy of $385.0 million."

    Aside from performing work at the Big Spring refinery, Alon successfully completed its acquisition of the Krotz Springs, La., refinery on July 3, 2008, increasing its crude oil refining capacity by 50 percent to approximately 250,000 barrels per day ("bpd").

    While the rapid increase in crude oil prices during the year negatively affected Alon's California asphalt margins, the rapid decrease in crude oil prices enabled the asphalt margins to be highly favorable during the fourth quarter of 2008.

    "Although companies in our industry experienced usage of cash in working capital during the fourth quarter due to the rapid decline in crude oil prices, I am very pleased that we were able to generate approximately $8 million in cash from operating activities during this period and in addition, our availability under revolving credit facilities was approximately $250 million at year end," Morris said in a statement.

    For 2009, he said Alon looks forward to increasing synergies within the organization, as it focuses on continued integration of its refining facilities and on developing and enhancing the markets in which the company operates. “We believe these initiatives should position Alon for additional growth going forward,” Morris said.

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