Total's profits rise on oil price increase

French oil firm Total increased profits by 13 per cent in the three months to September.

Higher prices and improved profitability in its refining business contributed to the rise.

The company, France’s largest, expressed optimism for future growth after three major discoveries in the quarter in Azerbaijan, French Guyana and Norway.

However, its underlying result showed weaker growth than its rivals, recording an increase of 24 per cent compared to figures over 40 per cent for Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil.

Oil and gas production decreased by one per cent in the quarter due to the effects of the Libyan war.