Currency gains lift StatoilHydro profit

Business Materials 30 October 2007 07:09

Norway's StatoilHydro said currency gains boosted its third-quarter net profit and offset weaker operating results that are dragging the group's oil and gas production towards the low end of its 2007 target range.

Shares in oil and gas producer StatoilHydro were up 0.2 per cent to 183.1 crowns at 0704 GMT, underperforming a 0.9 per cent rise in the DJ Stoxx Oil and Gas Index.

Earnings before interest and tax fell to 24.4 billion crowns ($4.54 billion) in July-September from 30.2 billion a year ago, worse than all 18 forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts, whose estimates ranged from 24.8 billion to 30.3 billion crowns.

Net profit rose to 10.7 billion crowns, beating an average forecast of 9.9 billion in the Reuters survey.

"The 26 per cent increase in net income (year-on-year)... was mainly due to an increase in net financial items from currency gains, and partly offset by lower downstream results," its said in a statement.

The third-quarter results are the last without the oil and gas assets of industrial group Norsk Hydro, which Statoil officially took over on October 1 to become StatoilHydro. ( Gulf )