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More cost reductions and good operational performance

  • 22 Aug 16

We come back to the Q2 16 results published at the end of July. At that time, as a reminder, the group reported an adjusted net income of €345m for Q2 16, up 11% yoy, perfectly in line with the market’s expectations, but above our own estimates (10% below consensus on cautious synergies and costs). Upstream In the upstream division, adjusted net income was €46m vs a loss of €48m a year ago, mainly due to lower exploration expenses (+€144m), higher volumes (+€290m) thanks to acquired assets and a positive tax effect from the appreciation of local currencies. Lower crude oil had a –€372m impact compared to last year. Average production was 687kbpd, up 33% yoy, due to a full quarter of volumes from acquired assets vs. a partial contribution last year. It was also helped by the ramp-up of Cardon in Venezuela, Sapinhoa in Brazil and the contribution from Gudrun in Norway. Some maintenance work and temporary suspensions due to low prices explained the 2% decrease vs. Q1 16. In terms of production, in Brazil, the hook-up of the FPSO at Lapa (break-even close to $55/bbl) has been concluded and first oil is expected to come one quarter ahead of schedule. In the UK, the rising costs with capex and opex are below plan and production is ahead of schedule. In North America, production at Marcellus has increased yoy, while reducing drilling activity to one rig with a cash break-even close to $2/mmbtu. In Venezuela, the teams are working to solve the issue with the escrow account in order to make the JV work financially. Downstream In downstream, adjusted net income was down 14% yoy to €378m on lower volumes produced, lower margins and maintenance in the refining system (-€224m). On the positive side, Chemicals, Marketing and the LPG businesses improved. The schedule of maintenance stoppages at Cartagena and Tarragona were completed on time and on budget. The planned outages reduced the group’s distillation and conversion utilisation during the quarter. The group achieved an actual refining margin of $0.6, $0.1 over an indicator. The group has completed its major maintenance programme for 2016 and expects its actual margin to recapture the full benefit of its industry-leading facilities in the second half of the year. In Chemicals, sales have again been strong and the margin should remain high for the rest of the year. Spanish motor fuel demand maintained its recovery and the market has grown by 3.6% yoy up to the end of May. Gas Natural Fenosa The adjusted net income at Gas Natural Fenosa stood at €96m, down 9% yoy due to lower profits from gas commercialisation, attributable to the current price environment. Cash flow and debt Cash flow from operations was €1.8bn and covered net investment, interest and dividend payments in the first half of the year. Net debt is slightly down compared to Q1 16, from €12bn to €11.7bn. The group’s liquidity at the end of the H1 16 was €6.7bn including drawdown credit lines which represent 1.8x the coverage of short-term maturities. Change in working capital so far in 2016 is €723m, which also explains the small decrease in debt.