France's Total posted lower quarterly earnings yesterday as higher crude prices failed to make up for unfavourable exchange rates, production losses in the North Sea and Libya, and a weak refining business.
Total said second-quarter net income, excluding one-offs and unrealised gains or losses related to changes in the value of fuel inventories, was €2.79 billion ($14.72 billion), below the €2.85 billion average forecast in a Reuters analysts poll.
In dollar terms, Total's underlying result was up 7 per cent, far below the performance of rivals Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, which saw their profits rise 77 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Total's weaker performance was mainly due to a 2 per cent drop in oil and gas production to 2.31 million barrels of oil equivalent per day due to maintenance downtime in North Sea fields and production disruptions in conflict-torn Libya.
This prevented Total from taking the full benefit of strong oil, which were on average at $101.07 (Dh370) in the second quarter, up 27 per cent year on year.
Yet Total, which has spent billions of euros in recent months to build up its presence in energy-rich countries such as Russia, Canada, Brazil or Australia, kept an upbeat view on coming quarters.
"With a strong balance sheet and a dynamic pace of execution in all of the group's segments, Total begins the second half of 2011 very confident in its outlook for profitable growth to benefit shareholders," Chairman Christophe de Margerie said.
From/ Gulf News