France’s Total lifts shareholder dividends as profit jumps

Fourth-quarter net profit at the French oil company rose 19 percent to $2.9 billion, compared with analysts’ average forecast of $2.8 billion. (Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018
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France’s Total lifts shareholder dividends as profit jumps

PARIS: Higher production drove a 28 percent rise in net profit at Total last year, allowing the French oil and gas group to hike dividends and announce plans to buy back shares.
Adjusted net profit came in at $10.6 billion (SR39.75 billion), helped by a five percent rise in production.
The company said on Thursday it would increase dividends by 10 percent over the next three years, with the 2018 interim dividend rising 3.2 percent. It also said it planned to buy back up to $5 billion of stock over 2018-2020.
Total shares were up 1.7 percent in early trading, outperforming a 0.6 percent decline in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas index.
Fourth-quarter net profit rose 19 percent to $2.9 billion, compared with analysts’ average forecast of $2.8 billion. Oil output, however, came in slightly below analysts’ mean estimate.
“The numbers were good. In Total’s case, they’ve got enough cash to increase capex and do a share buyback, so it all looks reasonably positive,” said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu, who owns Total shares.
Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said Total planned some $2 billion of acquisitions in 2018, and the company would return to normal staff hiring patterns after a three-year freeze.
Rival BP said earlier this week its 2017 profit more than doubled to $6.2 billion on the back of higher oil prices and output, allowing the British firm to resume share buybacks, as it too recovers from a three-year oil downturn.
However, US groups Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted rare quarterly earnings misses this month, hit by weakness in international refining operations.
Total’s market value of around €115 billion puts it roughly on a par with BP, but below Exxon, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, according to Thomson Reuters data.


Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

Updated 21 May 2018
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Dubai Aerospace signs $480 million loan deal

DUBAI: Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, said on Monday it had signed a four-year loan deal for $480 million.
DAE, a government-controlled company set up in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based AWAS last year.
The acquisition tripled the Dubai aircraft leasing and maintenance company’s portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth more than $14 billion.
The $480 million loan, which includes both conventional and Islamic finance tranches, has a so-called “accordion facility” allowing it to be increased to up to $800 million.
With the loan, the company’s unsecured revolving credit facilities increase to between $1.125 billion and $1.445 billion, depending on final size of the latest deal, Firoz Tararpore, DAE’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“On a pro forma basis as of December 2017, if this facility is fully drawn and if the proceeds are used to pay down secured indebtedness, DAE’s percentage of unsecured debt would increase from 26 percent to a range of 31-34 percent.”
Last year, the company issued $2.3 billion in senior bonds split across three tranches last year, partly to finance the AWAS acquisition.
Tarapore said in an interview last week that DAE was in talks to buy a near-record total of 400 jetliners from Airbus and Boeing in an order that could be worth more than $40 billion at list prices.
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait coordinated the latest loan deal and was also the lead arranger and joint bookrunner together with First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Noor Bank joined the deal as lead arranger.