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Mon 13 Aug 2012 03:44 PM

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Dana Gas Q2 profit rises on lower tax expense

Sharjah-based energy firm, which has US$1bn sukuk maturing in Oct, posted US$49.28m profit

Dana Gas Q2 profit rises on lower tax expense

Dana Gas Co, which has a US$1bn Islamic bond maturing in October, on Monday said its quarterly profit rose 46 percent helped mainly by lower income tax expenses.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana, which has operations in the UAE, Egypt and Kurdistan, posted second-quarter profit of AED181m (US$49.28m), up from AED124m in the year-ago period, it said in a bourse statement.

Quarterly revenue fell 12 percent to AED554m from AED627m last year, hurt by lower hydrocarbon prices and a decline in production in Egypt, Dana said.

Two analysts forecast profit of AED183m and AED151m for the second quarter, in a Reuters poll.

Income tax expense for the quarter fell by nearly half to AED51m from AED97m a year ago, boosting profitability at the Sharjah-based energy firm.

Dana, which owns a 3-percent stake in Hungarian group MOL, provided no new update on upcoming Islamic bond maturity.

"Investors want to know how the company is going to repay its US$1bn sukuk that matures in a matter of weeks, and in that regard the company has provided no further information," said Chavan Bhogaita, head of markets strategy department at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The natural gas producer appointed Blackstone Group and Deutsche Bank as advisers to help it weigh options for the outstanding US$920m on the convertible sukuk and said it was committed to finding a consensual solution.

Depending on the outcome of discussions, the company could become the first in the UAE to restructure a bond.

"In the not too distant future, the company is either going to have to face the music and sit at the negotiating table with investors, or come up with the cash with which to pay this debt," Bhogaita said.

Dana started facing problems last year after anti-government protests in countries such as Egypt led to payment delays from government entities. It has also faced payment issues in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The company had cash balance of AED601m as of June 30, 2012, it said on Monday.

Dana shares fell 2.5 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse Monday ahead of the results. The stock has dropped 11 percent year-to-date.

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