Santos today announced an after tax profit for the 1999 first half of $83.6 million, $0.6 million below the 1998 first half result of $84.2 million.
The Companys underlying operating result improved by $20.4 million as a result of an 18.4% growth in sales volumes.
Record first half sales revenue, production and sales volumes were achieved.
Operating cash flow increased by 26.2% to $245.1 million.
However the strong operating result was offset by reduced investment income which reflects the absence of significant asset sales proceeds, the absence of a special dividend which contributed to the 1998 result and lower returns from QCT Resources Ltd.
Earnings per share were 13.8 cents compared with 13.9 cents in 1998. Net operating cash flow per share was 40.4 cents compared with 32.1 cents in the 1998 first half.
Directors have maintained the interim dividend of 12 cents per share, fully franked, the same as the 1998 interim dividend. The dividend will be paid on 17 November 1999 to shareholders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 22 October 1999.
Commenting on the results the Managing Director, Mr Ross Adler said:
Santos achieved strong operational results and a substantial increase in cash flow during the half. This was despite a fall of 5.1% in the average US dollar oil price realised over the six month period to 30th June 1999.
The lower investment income was generally as expected.
Notwithstanding the lower investment income in the first half and expected for the full year, it is presently expected that the full year results should at least equal that achieved last year. The actual result will depend on the production volume and liquid prices achieved for the balance of this year.
Production volume is expected to reach almost 50 million barrels of oil equivalent.