Total confident despite volatile oil prices

Total confident despite volatile oil prices

French oil major Total said Thursday it planned to increase its dividend to shareholders as it expressed confidence earnings could withstand the current volatility in oil prices.

Total said in a statement that its headline net profit soared 22 percent to $6.2 billion (5.8 billion euros) in 2016.

However, the adjusted net profit, which is tracked by analysts because it excludes special items, fell by 21 percent to $8.3 billion.

And revenues were down nine percent at $149.7 billion.

Oil prices “were highly volatile in 2016, fluctuating between $27 per barrel and $58 per barrel,” said chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.

“In this difficult environment, the group demonstrated its resilience by generating adjusted net income of $8.3 billion,” he said.

“In this context, the board of directors proposes to increase the dividend, despite the volatility of hydrocarbon prices, to 2.45 euros per share.

This demonstrates the board’s confidence in the strength of the group’s results and balance sheet as well as its prospects for cash flow growth.”

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