Santos 2000 Full Year Report
Santos Record Full Year Profit Of $487 Million
- Net profit after tax up 122% to $487 million.
- Earnings per share a record 80 cents.
- Final dividend of 25 cents per share comprising a 15 cent ordinary dividend and a 10 cent per share special dividend, both fully franked.
- Total dividends of 40 cents for 2000, fully franked.
- Cash flow from operations $1,023 million ($1.68 per share).
- Gearing (net debt to equity) down to 38%.
Santos today announced a record after-tax profit for the 2000 full year of $486.8 million, more than double the 1999 (pre abnormals) result.
Higher sales volumes (up 15%) and a significant increase in realised oil prices drove the record profit in 2000. The average realised oil price in 2000 was A$46.54 after hedging (A$27.57 in 1999). Increased oil production from existing assets and the acquisition of the Barrow and Thevenard Island assets from Shell Australia enabled the company to achieve record returns during a period of sustained high oil prices.
Cashflow from operations increased to $1,023 million and contributed to the 33% fall in net debt to $867 million, notwithstanding spending of $694 million on exploration, development and acquisitions. Santos received $326 million for sale of its interest in QCT Resources Limited. The gearing ratio fell to a 20 year low of 38%.
Return on average equity increased to 22% (11% in 1999), earnings per share before abnormals was 80 cents (up 121%) and net operating cash flow was $1.68 per share ($0.87 in 1999).
Commenting on the results the Managing Director of Santos, Mr John Ellice-Flint said:
“This is an excellent result for Santos and our shareholders. It is pleasing that we have been able to provide benefits to shareholders through the total dividend payment of 40 cents per share fully franked for the full year.
The outlook for the coming year is good. We expect to at least maintain the record 2000 level of production, with continued control over the cost structure.
The combination of the good outlook for 2001 and record low gearing gives us substantial scope for future growth. Growth opportunities are currently being assessed as part of our strategic review”.
Directors have declared a final dividend of 15 cents per share (fully franked) increasing the total ordinary dividends to 30 cents per share (fully franked) for 2000. This is a 3 cent per share increase over the total 1999 dividend payment.
In view of the record 2000 profit result and strong cash flow Directors have also declared a special dividend of 10 cents per share (fully franked).
The final dividend will be paid on 27 April 2001 to shareholders registered in the books of the company at the close of business on 3 April 2001.
For the 2001 Interim Result Santos intends to both report its results and pay its dividend significantly earlier than in the past.
A strategic review of Santos’ activities is underway, the purpose of which is to put in place a plan for further growth to benefit shareholders.
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