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Woodside outstrips profit expectations

Financial Times: Woodside outstrips profit expectations

By Virginia Marsh

Published: August 3 2004 04:00 | Last updated: August 3 2004 04:00

Woodside, the Australian oil and gas group which is part-owned by Royal Dutch/Shell, said yesterday that it expected net profit for the first half to beat expectations by 10 per cent.

Shares in the Perth-based group surged almost 4 per cent on the news to a record high of A$18.70.

The group, Australia’s biggest independent oil producer and the operator of the North West Shelf gas project, said it expected interim net profits of A$345m, up from the consensus forecast of A$314m.

Some analysts appeared not to have factored in unrealised foreign exchange gains from the sale of a stake in the Enfield project off Western Australia to Mitsui this year, it said.

As well as the strong oil price, Woodside shares have been buoyed by the group’s drilling programme in Mauritania, an emerging oil province where it has carved out a significant presence.

Virginia Marsh, Sydney

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