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Dana Gas First-Quarter Profit Falls on Absence of Year-Ago Gain

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Dana Gas PJSC, the energy company seeking payments for past production in Egypt and Iraq, said first-quarter profit slipped 32 percent from a year earlier when an asset sale boosted earnings.

Net income fell to 164 million dirhams ($45 million), from 241 million dirhams a year earlier, Dana Gas said in a statement today to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. Sales rose 18 percent to 660 million dirhams.

Earnings a year ago benefited from a one-time gain of 143 million dirhams from the sale of shares in Hungarian refiner Mol Nyrt, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Allman-Ward said on a conference call today.

Dana Gas, based in the United Arab Emirates sheikdom of Sharjah, is owed payments for natural gas it produced in Egypt and Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. Two years ago, it changed terms on about $1 billion of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, as the unpaid bills and the global financial crisis hindered its refinancing efforts.

“We face significant delays in our collections in both Egypt and Iraq,” Allman-Ward said on the call. “This has impacted our ability to invest in both of those regions.” Production in Egypt could rise substantially should an agreement over the government’s debts be reached, Allman-Ward said. The Egyptian government has said it will make a general payment of as much as $1.5 billion to the energy industry as a whole in June, Allman-Ward said.

Dana Gas is owed 2.14 billion dirhams in total trade receivables, compared with 1.89 billion at the end of last year, mostly in Iraq and Egypt. The company didn’t receive any payments for production in Iraq’s Kurdish region from the semi-autonomous government there and is in arbitration with the administration over the assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net Indranil Ghosh, Tony Barrett

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