MELBOURNE Aug 22 Australian oil and gas
producer Santos Ltd beat forecasts with a 3 percent
rise in first-half core profit and said its $18.5 billion
Gladstone liquefied natural gas project was on track to start
producing in 2015.
However Santos gave no update on capital management plans,
which could disappoint some investors who were hoping for a
share buyback or special dividend as a sign of confidence in the
Underlying profit rose to A$258 million for the six months
to June from A$251 million a year earlier. That beat an average
forecast of A$222 million from four analysts.
"We have set the foundation for a stronger second half,"
Santos CEO David Knox said in a statement.
Net profit fell 24 percent to A$206 million, hit by
writedowns of A$70 million mostly related to its Indonesian coal
seam methane business. The writedowns had been flagged to
Santos shares have slipped 0.3 percent this year,
underperforming a 5.4 percent rise in the broader market
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)