28 Aug 2009 18:17

Lukoil beats forecast, sees US GAAP earnings fall 44.4% to $2.324 bln in Q2

MOSCOW. Aug 28 (Interfax) - Lukoil saw US GAAP net profit fall 44.4% to $2.324 billion in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008, the company said in a press release.

Lukoil beat the forecasts of nine analysts from investment companies and banks polled by Interfax, who predicted on average the company would see net profit of $1.8 billion in the period. Alfa-Bank's forecast was the closest at $1.995 billion.

Sales revenue totaled $20.116 billion in the second quarter, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) amounted to $4.12 billion, both figures higher than analysts' projections of $18.85 billion and $3.5 billion, respectively.

Net profit totaled $3.229 billion in the first half of 2009, EBITDA - $6.534 billion and sales revenue - $34.861 billion. Analysts had forecast net profit of $2.7 billion, EBITDA of $5.9 billion and sales revenue of $33.595 billion.

The company said it paid $9 billion in taxes in the first half of 2009, including $1 billion in profit taxes. Expenditures on hydrocarbon production totaled $3.25 per barrel of oil equivalent in the half, down more than 20% from $4.09 per barrel in January-June 2008.

Capital expenditures, including non-cash operations, contracted 40.1% to $3 billion in the period due to an anti-crisis program the company drew up at the start of the year, the press release says.

Lukoil companies produced 2.22 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the half, up 2% from the same period of 2008. Daily crude production increased 4% to 1.981 million barrels per day. The company produced a total of 48.63 million tonnes of oil in the period. Production at the Yuzhno-Khylchuyu field in Timan-Pechora, which opened in 2008, totaled almost 3.2 million tonnes.

Gas production totaled 7.36 billion cubic meters (bcm) in the period, including 2.35 bcm abroad (up 26.2% compared to the first half of 2008) and 5.01 bcm in Russia (down 23.4%). The reduction in gas production in Russia can be attributed to a decline in purchases by Gazprom .

The company refined 29.97 million tonnes of oil at its own refineries in the period (including its stake in refining at ISAB), up 10.4% from January-June 2008. Refining at Russian refineries rose 0.3%, while refining at foreign refineries increased 51.2%.

Oil exports grew 13.7% to 21.8 million tonnes (884,000 barrels per day) and exports of petroleum products increased 9.2% to 14.1 million tonnes. Total sales of oil and petroleum products rose 14.5% to 74.8 million tonnes in the period.

Lukoil's vice president, Leonid Fedun, said during a conference call that the results differed so much from forecasts because analysts only analyzed Lukoil's operations in Russia. The analysis did not include the Litasco trading subsidiary, for example.

Also, during periods of growth for prices and natural resource extraction tax (NRET), balances are carried forward. In addition, the analysts might not have taken possible concessions for highly inundated fields in West Siberia and the Volga region into account.