Hurricane Harvey-related maintenances weigh on Total's Q4 operating income

08 February 2018 10:51 Source:ICIS News

Rescuers in Port Arthur

LONDON (ICIS)--Total’s refining and chemicals business posted a 22% year-on-year decline in adjusted net operating income to €886m in the fourth quarter of 2017, partly weighed by maintenance activities at its Port Arthur site in the US, the French energy and petrochemicals major said on Thursday.

Its European refining margin indicator (ERMI) in the December quarter fell by 13% year on year to $35.5/tonne, it said in a statement.

Petroleum product sales volumes in the fourth quarter were down 9% year on year in the fourth quarter, falling from 4.2m bbl/day to 3.8m bbl/day.

Refinery throughput decreased by 8% year on year in the fourth quarter, mainly as a result of the ending of oil refining at the company’s La Mede facility in France as well as Hurricane Harvey-related maintenance activities at its Port Arthur refinery in the US.

For the full year of 2017, the refining and chemicals business posted a 10% year-on-year fall in adjusted net operating income to $3.79bn, despite a 20% increase in its European refining margin indicator to $40.9/tonne.

Refinery throughput for the whole of 2017 decreased by 7% year on year as a result of the “ending of distillation capacity at La Mede (France) and Lindsey (UK) and the temporary shutdown” due to Hurricane Harvey in the US”.

The company said petrochemicals had benefited in 2017 from a favourable environment, “albeit down compared to a year ago”, the company said.

On a group wide basis, Total’s fourth-quarter net income surged by 86% year on year to €1.02bn, with the full-year number up 39% at €8.63bn.

“These strong results were driven by production growth (5% in 2017), notable the start-up of Moho-Nord in the Republic of Congo, the ramp-up o Kashagan in Kazakhstan, and the entry into Al-Shaheen in Qatar,” said Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

“The downstream confirmed again this year its ability to generate around $7bn of operating cash flow and reported a return on capital employed of more than 30%.”

The company also announced on Thursday that it plans to increase dividends by 10% over the next three years and to buy back up to $5bn of stock between 2018 and 2020.

Total’s stock price was trading higher following the publication of its financials results, up 1.66%, versus the previous close, to €45.59.

Pictured: Rescuers pass by a flooded vehicle at Port Arthur on 31 August 2017
Source: Xinhua News Agency/REX/Shutterstock

(Update adds detail throughout)

By Niall Swan