Dana Gas Boosts 2012 Profit 20% on Partial Egypt, Iraq Payments

Dana Gas PJSC, the oil and natural gas producer forced to restructure its debt last year, boosted full-year profit by 20 percent as it received payments for output in Egypt and Iraq and benefited from higher crude prices.

Net profit rose to $165 million from $138 million the previous year, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Sales slipped to $636 million from $690 million as Dana slowed investment in Egypt and reduced production there, it said.

The company, which produces oil and gas at deposits mainly in Egypt and Iraq, seeks to increase output even as it faces difficulties in getting paid. Dana said it collected $301 million in payments from Egypt and from authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, without saying how much money it’s still owed.

Delays in payments by Egyptian and Iraqi Kurdish authorities forced the company to renegotiate terms on nearly $1 billion in Islamic debt, or sukuk. Dana said it is seeking final approval for the restructuring from shareholders, creditors and regulators.

Annual profit for Dana, based in the United Arab Emirates sheikhdom of Sharjah, exceeded the median estimate of four analysts who forecast 2012 profit at $159 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company, which lists shares on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, posted earnings of 9 fils (2.5 cents) per share. Its cash balance was 605 million dirhams at the end of 2012. Brent crude oil rose 3.5 percent last year to $111.11 a barrel.

Dana said it agreed with Sharjah and the U.A.E. emirate of Ajman to begin development of the offshore Zora gas field. The project will involve one production platform and ship fuel by pipeline to the country’s mainland.

Production declined last year to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 66,200 barrels at the end of 2011. The company said it plans to raise output in Egypt after developing three new gas fields.