Australia’s Woodside logs higher profit

Australian LNG player Woodside reported a 17 percent year-on-year rise in its first-half underlying profit due to higher realized prices.

The Perth-based LNG firm said underlying profit rose to $345 million in the January-June period from $303 million in the year before.

Woodside’s net profit after tax also rose to $317 million when compared to a net loss of $4.06 billion in the first half last year.

Also, the firm declared an interim dividend of 30 US cents per share, representing an
approximately 80 percent payout ratio of underlying profit.

The results come one day Woodside announced it had signed a merger agreement with BHP’s oil and gas business.

The proposed merger worth about $28 billion would create the largest energy company listed on the ASX, with a global top 10 position in the LNG industry by production, according to Woodside.

Market rebound

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said the result reflected the strong rebound in market conditions following the challenges and uncertainty brought on by Covid-19 in 2020.

“Our revenue was buoyed by higher realized prices driven by the recovery in demand for LNG and oil. Sales volumes increased by 6 percent to 53.9 million barrels of oil equivalent for the half, as we increased trading activity in response to favorable market conditions,” she said.

“During the half, Woodside generated $1,318 million of cash flow from operating activities and delivered positive free cash flow of $311 million,” O’Neill said.

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