Statoil Earnings Beat Expectations on Higher Prices and Production

By Dominic ChoppingFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Norway's Statoil ASA (STL.OS) posted a forecast-beating first-quarter net profit Thursday, driven by higher oil prices and increased production while making good progress on its cost-efficiency drive.

Production from the Norwegian continental shelf was at its highest level in five years, and its international portfolio delivered positive results and cash flow per barrel after tax on par with its Norwegian portfolio, it said.

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The 67% state-owned company confirmed it would deliver a further $1 billion in annual cost savings this year, backing a target it outlined in February and bringing savings this year to $4.2 billion.

Capital expenditure in 2017 is expected to remain at the 2016 level of around $11 billion, while exploration expenses are still seen at around $1.5 billion, excluding signature bonuses.

Statoil still expects 4%-5% production growth in 2017 and organic annual production growth of around 3% from 2016 to 2020.

Net profit for the three months through Mar. 31 was $1.06 billion, compared with $611 million a year earlier. Analysts had expected a net profit of $739 million. Revenue rose 53% on the year to $15.47 billion, against expectations of $14.61 billion.

The company maintained its quarterly dividend at $0.2201 a share.

Statoil's adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, which excludes one-off items to show the company's underlying performance, rose to $3.31 billion, against analysts' expectations of $2.64 billion. Higher prices for oil and North American gas, solid operational performance with high production and continued progress on improvement initiatives contributed to the increase, it said.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2017 02:07 ET (06:07 GMT)