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Pakistan Oil & Gas Profit Rises 25% on Higher Crude Prices

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April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Oil & Gas Development Co., Pakistan’s biggest energy explorer, posted a 25 percent increase in third-quarter profit after crude prices rose.

Net income in the three months ended March 31 climbed to 17.6 billion rupees ($208 million), or 4.09 rupees a share, from 14.1 billion rupees, or 3.28 rupees, a year earlier, the Islamabad-based company said in a filing to the Karachi Stock Exchange today. Sales rose 15 percent to 41.2 billion rupees.

“Like other energy companies, the main driver for profit growth is the crude price rise,” Farhan Bashir Khan, a research analyst at Invest Capital & Securities Ltd. in Karachi, said before the earnings announcement. Khan has a “hold” recommendation on the stock.

Pakistan, which imports 80 percent of its petroleum consumption, needs to increase oil and natural gas production to help meet demand. The country’s depleting energy resources prompted the government to increase gas prices in line with international rates in a bid to encourage exploration and help meet demand.

The price of Arab Light Crude rose 26 percent to $111.89 a barrel on March 31 from Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil & Gas Development, which has fallen 18 percent this year, rose 1.1 percent to 140.50 rupees as of 2:30 p.m. local time on the Karachi Stock Exchange. The company plans to pay an interim cash dividend of 1.50 rupees a share, according to the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Farhan Sharif in Karachi at fsharif2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net