TAQA swings to Q3 loss on costs, lower prices

Abu Dhabi state-owned energy firm reports loss of US$78.4m after profit a year ago
TAQA swings to Q3 loss on costs, lower prices
(Image for illustrative purposes)
By Reuters
Wed 14 Nov 2012 11:46 AM

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Energy Co swung to a third-quarter loss on Wednesday hurt by increased costs and lower natural gas prices, which offset a rise in revenue.

TAQA, which is 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, reported a third-quarter net loss of AED288m (US$78.4m), compared with a profit of AED537m a year ago, it said in a statement.

Results were impacted by construction costs of AED2.73bn which the company booked for the Jorf Lasfar power plant in Morocco.

"Our financial performance over the last quarter has been impacted by a series of one-off items - both cash and non-cash, which have suppressed our net result," TAQA's Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said.

Revenue rose 43 percent to AED8.83bn during the quarter from AED6.2bn a year ago. TAQA's oil and gas revenues fell to AED2.56bn from AED2.74bn a year ago, while fuel revenue decreased to AED952m from A|ED1.15bn in the prior year period.

TAQA, which has hired banks to issue a bond, said its North American portfolio of assets has been impacted by a 40 percent slump in natural gas prices. The company will either sell non-core acreage or increase production in core areas going forward to weather the downturn, it said in the statement.

TAQA also runs power plants in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana and India. It also plans to start oil and gas operations in Northern Africa.

On Monday, TAQA mandated five banks for a dollar-denominated bond which could be issued before the year- end, a spokesman for the company told Reuters

TAQA last tapped global debt markets in December last year with a US$1.5bn two-tranche bond to refinance debt.

The company has a US$1bn bond coming due in August and a US$750m note maturing in October, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Separately, sources told Reuters on Monday that TAQA is in advanced talks to buy a stake in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan by taking a majority interest in General Exploration Partners (GEP).

TAQA shares are up 9.2 percent year-to-date. They were yet to trade on Abu Dhabi bourse Wednesday.

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