Australia's oil and gas producer Santos on Friday announced a 51 percent jump in full-year profit, driven by asset sales and higher oil and gas prices.
The company reported a net profit of 753 million AU dollars ( 811.43 million U.S. dollars) for the year ending December 31, 2011, up from 500 million AU dollars (538.80 million U.S. dollars) in 2010.
Santos said the result was broadly in line with analyst expectations.
Underlying net profit after tax of 453 million AU dollars (488. 15 million U.S. dollars) was up 20 percent on the prior corresponding period due to higher oil and gas prices, partially offset by a stronger Australian dollar and a higher effective tax rate, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Santos Chief Executive Officer David Knox said the company had achieved a good set of numbers, financially and operationally.
"We delivered four new projects in the base business on plan. These projects will drive our production growth in 2012," he said in the statement.
Santos produced 47.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in 2011, down five percent from 2010, but in line with the company 's guidance range.
The oil and gas producer maintained its 2012 production guidance in the range of 51 and 55 mmboe.
Output growth will be driven by four newly-commissioned projects, including the Reindeer/Devil Creek domestic gas project near Dampier in Western Australia, the company said.
Knox said he was confident the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market would be strong in the long term because of high demand from Asia.
Santos on Friday declared a fully franked final dividend of 15 AU cents (16.16 U.S. cents) per share, bringing the full year dividend to 30 AU cents (32.33 U.S. cents).
Shares in Santos closed one AU cent (1.08 U.S. cents) higher on Friday, at 13.56 AU dollars (14.61 U.S. dollars).