Santos' underlying FY profit up 34pc
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Nicholas Grove is a Morningstar journalist.
Santos Limited (STO) on Friday announced a 34 per cent rise in underlying net profit to $606 million for the 2012 year, after higher liquids and gas prices helped offset higher costs associated with bringing new assets on line.
The result was shy of Morningstar's expectations for a full-year profit of $698.4 million.
Reported net profit for the year was $519 million, down 31 per cent from $753 million in the previous year. The figure included $77 million of after-tax write-downs.
Sales revenue for the year rose 18 per cent to a record $3.2 billion, while operating cash flow rose 32 per cent to over $1.6 billion.
The company declared a final dividend of 15 cents a share fully franked, which brought the full-year dividend to 30 cents a share. This was in line with Morningstar's forecast for a payment of 30.2 cents a share.
The final dividend will be paid on 28 March 2013 to shareholders on the register at 7 March 2013. The dividend reinvestment plan will be operational for the final dividend, Santos said in a statement.
Production for the year stood at 52.1 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), the company said.
Santos also maintained its production guidance for 2013 at 53 to 57 mmboe and capital expenditure guidance at approximately $4 billion.
The company also announced its proved and probable hydrocarbon reserves had increased to 1406 mmboe as at the end of 2012.
Santos chief executive David Knox said the company had delivered a strong set of financial results across its base business in 2012.
"Production increased by 10 per cent in 2012, driven by new assets in Western Australia and Vietnam, and strong Cooper oil production. We expect a further lift in production in 2013," he said.