LASMO, THE oil and gas exploration and production company yesterday reported a return to profit in the first half of 1999 and said it would continue to drive down costs and work to boost its return on capital. "It's absolutely fundamental to improve the return on capital in Lasmo's business," Paul Murray, finance director, said. He said the group, recently enlarged by the acquisition of smaller rival Monument Oil & Gas , was committed to achieving a double-digit return on capital in five years, from around 5 per cent in the first half. The group reported a return to profit in the six months to 30 June, despite a 2 per cent fall in the average price of North Sea Brent crude to $13.38 per barrel from the same period last year, as the group successfully cut costs.
"It's still a major element of our strategy to drive down our cost base, despite the fact we're enjoying (Brent) prices that are relatively stronger at the moment," Joe Darby, the chief executive, said