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Reuters: Total H1 profits slip despite oil output rebound

Thu Aug 2, 2007 2:37AM EDT

PARIS, Aug 2 (Reuters) – France’s Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) reported a 7.8 percent decline in second-quarter adjusted net profit as lower gas prices and a weaker dollar exchange rate outweighed a rebound in its hydrocarbon production.

Total bucked an industry-wide trend of falling oil and gas output as its new 220,000 barrel-per-day Dalia field in offshore Angola came on stream, helping to lift production by 1.4 percent to 2.322 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The world’s sixth-largest oil group by market capitalisation earned 3.10 billion euros ($4.24 billion) in second-quarter net profit — adjusted to strip out gains from changes in the value of fuel inventories and one-off items.

This was down from 3.36 billion euros a year ago and compared with a 5 percent rise in Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) underlying profits, and a 12.5 percent drop in BP’s (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) adjusted quarterly net income.

Operating profit slipped 13.7 percent to 5.76 billion euros, squeezed by the combination of a weaker dollar, lower gas prices, cost inflation and increased exploration.

Sales fell 4.4 percent to 39.09 billion euros — or nearly 5,000 euros earned per second during the second quarter.

Eleven analysts polled by Reuters had forecast average net income of 3.054 billion euros and operating profit of 5.849 billion.

Total made no comment on its outlook for oil and gas output, which although higher in the first half, was capped by lower OPEC quotas, new disruptions in Nigeria and halted production at its Congo Republic’s 60,000-bpd NKossa offshore oilfield.

Total has predicted output should grow less than 6 percent in 2007, down from a previous target of 7 percent.

Analysts had not expected Total to update its guidance for full-year volumes until a strategy update on Sept. 5.

Total shares closed at 57.39 euros on Wednesday. The stock is up 5 percent since the start of the year, but has fallen sharply from a record high of 63.40 euros two weeks ago, hit by a global stock market rout. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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