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Statoil Profit Unexpectedly Declines as Prices, Output Drop

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest energy company, said profit unexpectedly fell 2 percent in the second quarter hurt by falling oil and gas production and prices.

Adjusted net income fell to 11.3 billion kroner ($1.9 billion) from 11.5 billion kroner a year earlier, the Stavanger-based company said today. That missed the 11.7 billion kroner average of 21 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income declined to 4.3 billion kroner from 26.4 billion kroner, while sales fell 26 percent to 148.3 billion kroner.

“Our financial results were impacted by lower prices for liquids and gas and weak trading results,” Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in a statement. “We have maintained good cost control and delivered strong earnings, particularly from our international portfolio.”

Statoil, of which Norway’s state owns 67 percent, today maintained a plan to increase production to more than 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2020 from about 2 million barrels. The company has said production will drop in 2013 after it sold some Norwegian fields and on lower output growth from its U.S. shale gas assets.

Second-quarter output fell 1 percent to 1.967 million barrels of oil equivalent a day from a year earlier, Statoil said. That beat the 1.92 million barrel a day forecast in a TDN Finans survey. The average liquids price slid to $93.9 barrels, compared with $99.4 a year earlier.

‘Somewhat Soft’

The earnings were “somewhat soft,” with a strong performance from Statoil’s international operations offsetting a “very weak” result from gas trading at its marketing, processing and renewable energy unit, Teodor Sveen Nilsen, an analyst at Swedbank First Securities, said in an e-mail. “We will probably lower our adjusted earnings before interest and tax estimate for 2013 by some 2 percent to 4 percent,” he said.

Shares in Statoil fell as much as 2.1 percent, the most in a month, and traded 1.7 percent lower at 130.20 kroner as of 12:30 p.m. in Oslo. That extends the stock’s decline to 7.7 percent during the last 12 months.

Planned maintenance is expected to lower production by 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day this quarter and 45,000 barrels a day for the full year, Statoil said. The company maintained its guidance for the year with capital expenditure excluding acquisitions and capital leases of $19 billion and exploration activity of $3.5 billion.

A loss on net financial items for the quarter of 6.9 billion kroner widened from 2.5 billion kroner a year ago due to negative currency effects from krone positions and because of losses on derivative financial instruments related to long term debt, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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