PARIS: France’s TotalFinaElf posted a forecast-beating 49% rise in first-quarter profit on a surge in crude and fuel prices driven by war and civil unrest in key oil producer nations.
One dealer said yesterday the results were “top end across the board” – reflecting similar outperformance throughout the industry.
Total’s net earnings improvement to 2.12 billion euros was at the top end of analysts’ forecasts but trailed those of super majors BP, Royal Dutch/Shell and ExxonMobil, which all reported record earnings that were double or more than those of a year ago.
Besides war in Iraq, strikes in Venezuela and civil unrest in Nigeria which disrupted supplies and forced the price of oil and fuel higher, Total's production growth also contributed to the better result, helping to offset a poor performance from its chemicals business.
Along with the release of its quarterly results, TotalFinaElf dropped the second part of its name, acquired in recent years through the acquisition by Total of Belgium’s Fina and France's Elf. – Reuters