Eni Fourth-Quarter Profit Falls as Taxes Offset Higher Output

Eni SpA said fourth-quarter profit fell 3.6 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, because of higher taxes even as the company increased output for the year.

Adjusted net income dropped to 1.52 billion euros ($2.03 billion) from 1.58 billion euros a year earlier, the Rome-based company said today in a statement. That was below the 1.6 billion-euro average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Output increased 7 percent to 1.701 million barrels a day in 2012 compared to a year ago on the recovery of Libyan production.

Eni said it aims to increase production this year thanks to new projects in Kashagan, Angola, and Algeria. The extra production will offset financial charges and lower performance of the company’s natural gas business.

“Management expects continuing weak conditions in the European gas, refining and marketing of fuels and chemicals sectors,” the company said today in a statement. “Demand for energy commodities is anticipated to remain sluggish due to the economic stagnation.”

Natural gas sales fell 1.5 percnt to 95.3 billion cubic meters in the year. The company said today it proposed a full year dividend of 1.08 euros per share.