UPDATE 1-Galp's profits boosted by Brazilian oil output

Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:37am EST

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LISBON Feb 11 (Reuters) - Net profit at Portuguese oil company Galp Energia rose a better than than expected 10 percent in the last three months of 2012, it reported on Monday, thanks to higher oil output in Brazil and a rise in refining margins that offset weak domestic sales.

Galp said in a statement its share of oil production from various projects where it has stakes rose 8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier to 23,400 barrels per day and it expected a further rise to around 24,000 bpd this quarter.

It also expected its refining margin in Portugal to benefit from a ramp-up in production from its new hydrocracker complex, although marketing volumes would continue dropping "impacted by the Iberian macro economic environment".

Net profit, adjusted to reflect changes in the company's stocks of crude, totalled 83 million euros ($111 million) in the fourth quarter, Galp said. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also rose 10 percent, to 229 million euros.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast, on average, an adjusted net profit of 76 million euros and EBITDA of 235 million euros.

The company had earlier announced that fourth-quarter sales of refined products slipped 1 percent from a year earlier to 4.2 million tonnes even though crude oil refining volumes rose almost 17 percent. Portugal's domestic market is suffering from the country's economic recession.

The company, mainly a refiner, has a 10 percent interest in Brazil's giant Lula/Tupi offshore oil field and is a partner in other Brazilian projects. It also operates in Angola and other African countries. ($1=0.7474 euros) (Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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