Total's 2013 profits down

FRANCE TOTAL UTS ENERGY12 February 2014, News Wires – French supermajor Total posted a fall in profits for 2013 as a drop in liquids production and prices hurt sales.

The company posted a profit of €8.4 billion ($11.4 billion) for the year, down 20% on the €10.6 billion profit booked in 2012.

The fall in profits came as sales revenue in 2013 dropped 5% to €189.5 billion, compared to the nearly €200.1 billion generated the previous year.

The reduction in revenue came despite year-on-year output remaining relatively stable at just under 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, with a 4% fall in liquids production being offset by 5% jump in gas output.

Total noted that output was negatively affected during the year by security issues in Nigeria and Libya, along with portfolio changes, including the sale of interests in Nigeria, the UK, Colombia and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as natural field decline.

These factors were partially offset however by start-ups and growth of new projects and improved security conditions in Yemen.

Despite output remaining steady, a 6% rise in average gas prices, to $7.12 per thousand British thermal units, was not enough to offset a 4% drop in average liquids prices to $103.3 per barrel, with the French company achieving an average hydrocarbon price in 2013 of $74.8 per boe, down from $77.3 per boe a year earlier.

These factors, combined with a higher tax rate, led the company’s upstream segment to post a 16% year-on-year fall in adjusted net operating income to just under €9.4 billion.

The company has set a budget of $2.6 billion for its exploration programme this year which includes high potential targets Brazil, Angola, the Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Although profits were down, Total chief executive Christophe de Margerie said 2013 marked “an important step” for the company.

“In the upstream (segment), launching major projects in key regions like Africa, Canada and Russia, as well as entering into promising new assets, most noticeably in Brazil, allows us to confirm our objectives and strengthens the outlook for the group beyond 2017,” he said.

“As announced, the intensive investment phase that we embarked on to transform our production profile by 2017 reached a peak of $28 billion in 2013.”

Total is targeting producing a potential 3 million boepd by 2017, with the majority of the assets needed to achieve this growth either already in production or under development.

Total also said it was on track to reach, and potentially exceed, its target of between $15 billion and $20 billion in asset sales by the end of this year having already generated $13 billion from the sale of assets since 2012.

Despite the fall in profits during 2013, Total’s board has recommended a dividend of €2.38 per share, up 1.7% on 2012’s dividend of €2.34 per share.


– Upstream

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