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Dana Gas First-Quarter Profit Rises 17 Percent on MOL Stake Sale

Dana Gas PJSC, the oil and natural gas producer forced to restructure debt last year, boosted first-quarter profit 17 percent as gains from an asset sale outweighed a decline in revenue.

Net income rose to 241 million dirhams ($66 million), compared with 206 million dirhams a year ago, the company said today in a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. Sales dropped 20 percent to 557 million dirhams.

The company, which produces oil and gas mainly in Egypt and Iraq, expects output and income to improve this year as it pumps from newly discovered deposits, Rashid Al Jarwan, acting chief executive officer, said on a conference call today. Dana Gas gained $135 million from the sale of a 1.6 percent stake in Hungary’s largest refiner Mol Nyrt.

Dana Gas, based in the United Arab Emirates sheikhdom of Sharjah, changed the terms of about $1 billion in Islamic bonds, or sukuk, last year after the Egyptian and Iraqi governments delayed payments for fuel sales. The global financial crisis and inability of the company to find buyers for minority stakes in some of its fields also hampered efforts to refinance. Shareholders and sukuk-holders agreed this year to the restructured terms on the bonds.

Shares were up 1.8 percent to 58 fils at 11:53 a.m. in Dubai.

Collecting Payments

Egypt and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region owed Dana Gas a combined 2.26 billion dirhams at the end of March, the company said, compared with 2.16 billion dirhams that they owed at the end of December. Dana Gas collected 152 million dirhams in payments in the first quarter in Egypt and 119 million dirhams in Iraq.

Production declined to 61,400 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 63,000 barrels because output in Iraq dropped after a fire last year at the company’s facility in the Kurdish region stopped shipments of liquefied petroleum gas. Dana Gas wants to restart LPG sales this quarter, Al Jarwan said.

The company expects to appoint a permanent CEO and a chief financial officer as soon as possible, Al Jarwan said. The company has identified “several candidates” to be CFO and is evaluating them, he said. The previous CFO James Dewar stepped down at the end of 2010.

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