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Total Confident On Goals Despite First-Quarter Profit

Oil and gas company Total SA (TOT, FP.FR) Friday said it remained confident in achieving its targets despite posting a 7% drop in its first-quarter profit due to lower production and oil prices.Earlier this week, the company reiterated its target to grow oil and gas output by 3% a year on average between 2011 and 2015, and accelerate growth further after 2017 as new projects come on stream.Total's net profit in the first quarter, adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and gains or losses from items like asset sales, dropped to 2.86 billion euros ($3.78 billion) from EUR3.08 billion in the same period in 2012. This was slightly below average expectations of EUR2.95 billion in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of nine analysts.Profit was down after oil and gas output over the period dropped 2% to 2.323 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, from 2.372 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2012. The reduction was largely due to a gas leak that had shut d...

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