Total profits up 17 percent for third quarter

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2011 7:12 AM
Total profits up 17 percent for third quarter

French oil company Total said Friday that soaring crude prices boosted its third-quarter profits despite a weak dollar.

France's largest company by market value saw its net profit rise to euro3.3 billion ($4.6 billion) in the third quarter, up 17 percent from the same period last year. Revenue was euro46.2 billion in July to September, up from euro40.2 billion last year.

Unrest in Libya, which produces the high-quality crude favored by European refineries, has sent brent crude prices up sharply this year. The company noted that, compared to the third quarter in 2010, brent prices were 47 percent higher.

The company said its closely watched adjusted income expressed in dollars was $4 billion, up 24 percent. Because the company books its profits in euros but oil is traded in dollars, the dollar income figure can sometimes give a truer indication of performance.

In that environment, oil giants Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell also reported strong profits this quarter, rising 47 and nearly 49 percent respectively.

Total said it was expecting its solid growth to continue, thanks to the start of production in a new Pazflor offshore field in Angola and several new discoveries in the quarter.

"The successful start-up of Pazflor in Angola, one of the largest deep-offshore oil facilities ever built shows once again Total's expertise in operating technologically complex major projects," said CEO Christophe de Margerie. "Pazflor is the first of many start-ups that will ensure our growth over the coming years."