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Santos today announced a record after tax profit for the 2000 first half of $207.0 million, a 147.6% increase on the 1999 first half result of $83.6 million.
  • Record earnings of $207 million, up 148%.
  • Earnings per share up 147% to a record 34 cents.
  • Operating cash flow up 80% to $440 million.
  • Gearing (net debt to equity) down to 64.5% notwithstanding significant acquisition activity.

This result reflects record first half sales revenue, production and sales volume.

Included in this result is an equity accounted loss of $18.7 million on the Companys investment in QCT Resources Ltd. Excluding this investment, Santos recorded earnings of $225.7 million.

Operating cash flow increased by 79.6% to $440.3 million.

Earnings per share were 34.1 cents compared with 13.8 cents in the 1999 first half. Net operating cash flow per share was 72.6 cents compared with 40.4 cents in the 1999 first half.

Directors have increased the interim ordinary dividend to 15 cents per share, fully franked, 3 cents higher than the 1999 interim dividend. Directors intend to review dividend policy at the end of the year in the light of the sustainability of oil prices. The dividend will be paid on 17 November 2000 to shareholders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 20 October 2000.

Commenting on the results the Managing Director, Mr Ross Adler said:

This record result reflects the success of the Companys growth program in recent years, together with strong oil and liquids prices.

Oil and liquids production was up by 26% over the previous first half year. The Stag and Elang oil fields did well and the purchase of the Shell Carnarvon Basin oil assets in March added materially to oil volumes.

The average realised Australian dollar oil price was a record $43.59 per barrel.

Gas sales were a record 105 PJ, which was particularly significant because gas sales in the first half are generally lower due to seasonal factors.

Earnings were almost two and a half times higher than the 1999 first half.

Operating cash flow increased by almost $200m, or by 80%.

On virtually every measure it was a record half year, and the Company is well positioned for a record full year result.