Second quarter profit spurt for France's Total

5th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 5 (AFP) - The French oil giant Total posted Thursday a 27 percent increase in its second quarter net profit, less than analysts had forecast.

PARIS, Aug 5 (AFP) - The French oil giant Total posted Thursday a 27 percent increase in its second quarter net profit, less than analysts had forecast.

The company reported an unadjusted net profit for the second quarter of EUR 2.046 billion (USD 2.465 billion), up from EUR 1.605 billion in the same period last year.

The result was nonetheless shy of analysts' forecasts which ranged between EUR 2.220-2.317 billion.

Growth in the net profit for the quarter was capped by a much higher provision for income taxes, at EUR 1.949 billion in the period compared to EUR 1.254 billion last year in the comparable period.

After adjusting for special items, net profit rose 22 percent over the period to EUR 2.162 billion.

The company said sales rose 18 percent in the second quarter to EUR 28.897 billion.

Chief executive Thierry Desmarest said that the improvement in the company's bottom-line was not only attributable to the favourable environment - with oil prices at record highs - but also that efforts to increase hydrocarbon production growth had been crucial.

The company said in a statement that since the beginning of the third quarter last year, "petroleum product demand has remained strong and concerns about supply have persisted, keeping oil prices and refining margins at high levels."

"In this favourable environment, the group has continued to pursue its policy of strict financial discipline for profitable growth combined with strong shareholder returns," it said.

In late trading here, shares in the company eased 0.44 percent lower to EUR 160 while the CAC 40 index of leading French stocks added 0.79 percent to 3,636.13 points.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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