The French oil and gas group Total posted a considerably lower profit in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. This was mainly the result of sharply falling gas prices.
The adjusted net profit amounted to 2.9 billion dollars (2.6 billion euros), a decrease of 19 percent compared to a year earlier. That was below the expectations of analysts.
Total points out that the price for natural gas in Europe and Asia has decreased by 36 percent and 26 percent respectively in the recent period. This was due to the warmer weather, which reduced the demand for gas. In addition, supply increased as gas groups in Russia, Australia and North America brought more gas to the market.
Total oil and gas production did rise in the past quarter, by 9 percent to the equivalent of almost 3 million barrels of oil per day.
Total also announced plans to sell around $ 5 billion worth of business units. With this, the group wants to focus more on more profitable activities. Shareholders are rewarded with an increase in the dividend for the second quarter, by more than 3 percent to 0.66 euros per share.