October 29, 2018 / 12:05 PM / 23 days ago

Portugal's Galp lifts earnings outlook on oil price, improved output

LISBON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Portugal’s Galp Energia raised its 2018 pre-tax earnings estimate to 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from a previous forecast of 1.8-1.9 billion on Monday, as a jump in oil prices and stronger output boosted its third-quarter results.

Galp shares rose by more than 3 percent to 15.5 euros, outperforming the broader Lisbon, which was up by 1.3 percent, and the Stoxx 600 oil and gas index, which was 1.4 percent higher.

Oil and gas output rose 10 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier to around 104,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, but Galp’s new projection for a full-year output increase of 15 percent came at the lower end of its previous forecast range of 15-20 percent.

International oil prices surged over 40 percent in the quarter from a year ago.

Third-quarter net income and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose 35 percent and 38 percent respectively, in line with market expectations, even as refining margin fell 21 percent and refinery throughput declined 7 percent due to scheduled maintenance.

Galp’s refining margin of $5.8 per barrel was nevertheless well above the industry’s benchmark of $3.2 in the quarter.

The rise in projected EBITDA came despite expectations of a “weaker refining environment in the fourth quarter”.

The company, which is a relative newcomer in the world of big oil, plans to boost output to 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020.

Most of Galp’s production growth will come from Brazil, where it has stakes in large offshore oil fields and is looking for further expansion opportunities. ($1 = 0.8772 euros) (Reporting by Andrei Khalip Editing by Alexander Smith)

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