Santos lifts H1 profit

Resources giant lifts net profit on back of growth in sales revenues.

Santos (STO) has lifted its first-half net profit beyond analyst forecasts, as growth in sales revenues outstripped modest declines in both production and sales volumes.

In the six months to June 30, Santos posted a net profit of $271 million, a 3% increase on the $262 million recorded in the previous corresponding period.

Analysts polled on Bloomberg were estimating net profit to remain flat at around $262 million.

Revenue in the period was $1.531 billion, a modest increase on the $1.521 in the previous corresponding period.

The group will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 15 cents to shareholders on the register as at August 28.

The payment is in line with the 15 cent dividend paid in the previous corresponding period.

Santos said its half-year earnings were impacted by its year-to-date production.

The group said while first-half production fell by 4.5% to 24.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), and sales volumes fell by 6%, sales revenues actually grew by 1% to a record $1.51 billion (see Tim Treadgold's Santos fires up on LNG).

Santos maintained its production guidance of between 52 to 55 mmboe for 2013.