Daily Management Review

Total Profits Reach Pre Pandemic Levels With Recovery In Oil Prices


Total Profits Reach Pre Pandemic Levels With Recovery In Oil Prices
With increase in global oil prices boosting the trading business electricity production of the French energy group Total SE, the earnings of the company for the first quarter reached close to the levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With business areas like oil refining being hit by the pandemic, this drive benefitted the company as it is trying to diversify into renewable energy and waning away from hydrocarbon-centred activities.
For the January to March quarter, the company reported a 69 per cent year on year rise in adjusted net income which came in at $3 billion which was also 9 per cent higher than the number reported by the company for the same period in 2019 – prior to the pandemic.
This performance of the company happened despite a 7 per cent year on year drop in hydrocarbon production to 2.863 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).
The Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 20-20 brought travel to a complete halt thereby flattening oil demand and resulting in a historic clump in global oil prices. That forced oil giants like Total to severely cut down on new investments and implement cost saving measures.
However with the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines around the world and the easing of pandemic induced restrictions, there has been a recovery in oil prices which has boosted the earnings at Total and its rivals such as like Britain's BP. But some parts of the world are still experiencing lockdowns and restrictions because of rising cases.
The oil environment remained "volatile and dependent on the global demand recovery", Total however also cautioned.
The company also expects greater stability in hydrocarbon production this year compared to the levels of 2020.
A booming natural gas business is also benefiting total just like some of its peers.
For this current, year, total investments of $12-$13 billion is targeted by it, said the group which is set to rebrand itself as TotalEnergies, and added that half of that investment will be made in maintenance activities while the other half will be used to finance growth and for pushing further into the renewable energy sector.
So far this year, the company has already struck deals to acquire products in the renewable energy sector which includes solar projects in the United States and a share in India's Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) and its solar power assets for $2.5 billion.
Its portfolio of renewable power generation capacity to 2025, including installed sites and those in development and construction, is now 28 gigawatts (GW) on a net basis, up from 17.9 GW in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Provided that the prices of hydrocarbon remains at first-quarter levels, the company expects to be able to generate some $24 billion in debt-adjusted cash flow in 2021, Total said. The group maintained a stable interim dividend of 0.66 euros per share against first quarter earnings.