Oil supermajor Total’s profits slumped by 24 per cent this morning as it became the latest company to be hit by low oil and gas prices.
The French company’s third quarter results showed that profit was $3bn (£2.3bn), down from $6.24 billion in the same three months in 2018.
Total’s debt-adjusted cash flow fell two per cent to $7.4bn.
However, the company said that record production over the quarter helped keep cash flow steady in spite of the low prices.
Production rose 8.4 per cent to a record output in the quarter at over 3m barrels of oil equivalent per day compared with the same period last year. Total said it was on track to hit nine per cent output growth this year.
Chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said: “The group continues to achieve solid results despite a third-quarter environment compared to a year ago that was marked by an 18% decrease in the Brent price to $62 per barrel and gas prices that fell by about 55% in Europe and Asia.”
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In a call with analysts, chief financial officer Jean-Pierre Sbraire said the company’s 2019-2020 $5bn asset sale programme was well advanced.
Sbraire told analysts during a conference call that the firm has sold but not yet closed about $1 billion in the programme, with sold assets including the Trapil pipeline network in France and some UK operations.
However, he said it was too early to say when a final investment decision on its Uganda oil project would be taken, potentially delaying a decision that was initially expected last year.
Total’s share price rose one per cent in early trading, to €48.22.
Yesterday fellow oil giant BP announced that it suffered a $749m loss in the quarter, due to a combination of oil prices and hurricane damage.
Main image credit: Getty