Repsol Profit Beats Expectations on Latin America Output Growth

Repsol SA (REP), the Spanish oil company looking to spend about $10 billion on takeovers, said first-quarter profit exceeded analyst expectations as production growth in Latin America offset declines in Libya.

Adjusted net income climbed 1.5 percent to 532 million euros ($740 million) from a year earlier, Spain’s largest oil producer said today in a statement. That beat the 448 million-euro estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Repsol yesterday said it sold a 12 percent stake in Argentina’s YPF SA for $1.26 billion, marking a final break with the company two years after the government seized 51 percent of the country’s leading oil producer. The proceeds from the deal along with a $5 billion compensation package agreed with the government earlier this year will help the Spanish company pay for acquisitions as it seeks to boost growth.

Net income rose 27 percent to 870 million euros on a one-time gain from the sale of LNG assets to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The refining margin was $3.90 a barrel, unchanged from a year ago.

Repsol announced April 30 that Josu Jon Imaz would become chief executive officer, replacing Antonio Brufau, who continues as chairman, with the aim of driving the expansion process.

Brufau said Nov. 22 that the company is willing to spend $10 billion acquiring assets in Canada, the U.S. or northern Europe as it plans to sell its 30 percent stake in Gas Natural SDG SA. (GAS) It has yet to announce an acquisition.

Shell, Europe’s largest oil company by market value, beat analyst estimates last week on the back of higher earnings from natural gas sales, as did Statoil ASA. Total SA missed analyst expectations as refining margins shrank and production dropped.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net Will Kennedy

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