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Total announces 3Q20 results

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As reported by Reuters, Total trimmed its 2020 investment target on Friday after a sharp drop in third-quarter net profit, though the French oil and gas producer maintained its dividend.

The company cut its investment target to US$13 billion from US$14 billion and said it was keeping a lid on operating costs too, even as it strives to grow in renewable energy and electricity markets.

Total reported net income of US$202 million (£155 million), down 93% from a year earlier, but rebounding from a loss in the second quarter when it wrote down the value of assets. Adjusted net income fell 72% to US$848 million, beating analysts’ average forecast of US$572 million, according to Refinitiv data.

Redburn analysts said Total had performed better than expected in activities such as LNG, and that its discipline on spending was a positive.

While rivals such as Shell, BP and Eni cut their dividends earlier this year, Total has stuck with its payouts throughout the crisis and said it would maintain a dividend of €0.66 per share for the third quarter.

Total trimmed its oil and gas output forecast for the year to under 2.9 million boe/d, from a previous 2.9 – 2.95 million boe/d estimate.

Its output in the third quarter was down 11% to 2.715 million boe/d. Cash flow dropped 41% to US$4.3 billion.

Total said oil refining margins were severely depressed, due to excess production, and that European refining margins were on average under US$10/t at the start of the fourth quarter and “remained fragile” due to weak demand for jet fuel.

Total, like many European rivals, is trying to become a major low-carbon power producer, and hiking its budget in renewable energy and electricity even as it cuts elsewhere.

It said its gross renewable installed capacity had reached 5.1 GW at the end of 3Q20 - a 85% jump from a year earlier - including after buying solar power assets in Spain.


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