Kelt quadruples profits to pounds 2.5m

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The Independent Online
A SURGE in production helped Kelt Energy, the small oil company controlled by the millionaire French entrepreneur Hubert Perrodo, more than quadruple profits in the first half to 30 September, writes Neil Thapar.

The after-tax surplus soared from pounds 629,000 to pounds 2.5m on doubled turnover to pounds 12.3m. Earnings improved from 0.4p to 1.8p.

Kelt, with an improved financial position and prospects, also signalled a return to the dividend list 'as soon as possible'. The move lifted the shares 6p to 47p.

Total daily production rose from 5,430 to 11,800 barrels of oil equivalent following several acquisitions made over the past year.

These included a package of producing interests in Colombia, Gabon and Cameroon, which helped boost Kelt's proven and probable reserves by 68 per cent to 80.15 million barrels.

Kelt, which also boasts the Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer as a 15 per cent shareholder, generated pounds 4.4m cash from operations, which together with a pounds 5m equity issue, trimmed borrowings to about pounds 10m - equivalent to 12 per cent of shareholders' funds.

About three years ago Kelt almost went bust after winning a pounds 206m bid for Carless, the oil independent, financed through debt. But the takeover backfired forcing the sale of a 7.5 per cent stake in Wytch Farm, the Dorset oil field.

Since then it has concentrated on acquiring producing assets and then improving their performance.

(Photograph omitted)

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