British energy group BG says profits slip

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British energy producer BG Group said Thursday that first-quarter net profit fell 4.8 percent on the back of lower natural gas prices and a large writedown on assets sold.

Net earnings slid to 960 million dollars (725 million euros) in the three months to the end of March, compared with 1.01 billion dollars last time around, BG said in a results statement.

The company, whose operations extend from Brazil to Norway, added that revenues increased 6.5 percent to 4.787 billion dollars in the quarter.

"This is a good set of operating results," said chief executive Frank Chapman in comments accompanying the earnings.

Net profit adjusted for exceptional items -- notably a 377-million-dollar loss taken on the sale of three power plants in the United States -- rose by 13.4 percent to 1.12 billion dollars. That beat expectations of 981 million.

Total oil and gas output rose 5.9 percent to 681,000 barrels per a day, driven by higher volumes in the United States and Australia and the ramp-up of production at a gas project in Tunisia.

- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report -

© 2010 AFP

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