With Leviathan gas about to flow, Delek's Q3 profit plummets

With Leviathan gas about to flow, Delek's Q3 profit plummets

Yitzhak Tshuva's Delek Group posted a net profit of NIS 65 million for the third quarter, down 80% on the corresponding quarter.

About 96% of the development work on the Leviathan natural gas reservoir is complete, and trials of the gas transportation system are underway. Commercial flow is expected to begin next month, Delek Group Ltd. reported in its third quarter financials, released today, Trend with reference to Globes reports.

Delek Group, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, holds 45% of the rights in the Leviathan reservoir, through 60% owned subsidiary Delek Drilling. This is alongside 22% of the rights in the Tamar reservoir. US company Noble Energy owns 39.7% of Leviathan, and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP owns 15%.

Delek Group, which also operates a chain of fuel stations and convenience stores in Israel, and has gas and oil interests in the North Sea, had revenue of NIS 2 billion in the third quarter, 11.5% less than in the corresponding quarter of 2018. The company posted a net profit of NIS 65 million for the quarter, down 80% on the corresponding quarter.

Two weeks ago, through its Ithaca subsidiary, Delek Group completed the purchase of Chevron's British North Sea oil fields for $1.8 billion, shortly after selling the controlling interest in finance and insurance group The Phoenix Holdings Ltd. for NIS 1.6 billion.

The Chevron deal will quadruple Ithaca's daily output, but meanwhile the company's third quarter revenue totaled just $62 million, 43% less than in the corresponding quarter, because of planned shutdowns of production installations for maintenance, and a decline in oil and gas prices in the quarter.

Ithaca's net profit for the quarter was just $600 thousand, which compares with $24 million in the corresponding quarter.

Delek's revenue from sales of natural gas, net of royalties, was NIS 350 million, 7.5% less than in the corresponding quarter. Net profit on this activity was NIS 139 million, 2.2% more than in the corresponding quarter.

Fuel sales in Israel brought Delek Group NIS 1.3 billion revenue in the third quarter, 4.5% less than in the corresponding quarter. The group posted a NIS 30 million net profit on this activity, 13% less than in the corresponding quarter.

For the first nine months of 2019, Delek Group had revenue of NIS 6.1 billion, similar to the figure for the corresponding period of 2018, and posted a net profit of NIS 545 million, 26% less than in the corresponding period.

Delek Group's share price has responded to these numbers with a drop of 1.6% so far in today's session on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Over the past year, the company's share price has fallen 20%, shrinking its market cap to NIS 6 billion.

Yesterday, Delek Group announced that Idan Walllace (42), long considered Tshuva's right-hand man, will replace Asaf Bartfeld as the company's CEO. Bartfeld served in the post for sixteen years.

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