Falling oil prices have hit the 2015 profits of French oil company Total
Paris - AFP
French oil company Total said on Tuesday that it expected 2015 profits to be down by more than 20 percent from a year earlier because of falling oil prices.
Total chief Patrick Pouyanne told Europe 1 radio that Total's earnings were supported by its transformation, refining and distribution businesses.
"We're present all along the chain," he said. "But at the same time our profits are falling. They will be down a bit more than 20 percent this year (2015) because the oil price fell by 50 percent."
Total officials, contacted by AFP, said Pouyanne's remarks were based on results for the first nine months of 2015, but that the full-year results were headed for a similar drop, as predicted by analysts.
Total in September announced cuts in spending and investment, citing the weak oil price.
It expects to invest between $20 billion and $21 billion this year, and $17 billion to $19 billion in 2017, against $23 billion to $24 billion in 2015.
Operating costs are to be cut by $3 billion and Total wants to sell $10 billion worth of assets as well as cut its payroll by 2,000 out of 100,000 employees, it said.
Total's official 2015 results announcement is due on February 11.