15th Sep 2023 08:22
(Correcting to specify that Capricorn is Egypt-focused and is exiting some other areas.)
(Alliance News) - Capricorn Energy PLC on Thursday declared a special dividend to return around USD100 million to shareholders, but reported weaker half-year results.
The Edinburgh-based, Egypt-focused upstream energy company said its revenue from production in the six months to June 30 fell by 28% to USD98.3 million from USD137.4 million the year before.
Capricorn also swung to a pretax loss of USD62.2 million from a profit of USD40.8 million. It explained that results for the first half of 2022 included a USD120.9 million profit from discontinued operations, compared with a loss of USD10.8 million this year.
Production decreased 11% to average 31,496 barrels of oil equivalent per day, from 35,500 barrels last year.
The company added: "At the beginning of the year, Capricorn was involved in a number of high-risk exploration projects which were deemed by the new board as non-core. To date, [it] has relinquished its Mauritanian position and continues to pursue the exit of its exploration positions in the UK, Mexico and Suriname."
Capricorn also declared a special dividend of 56 pence per share, totalling approximately USD100 million, which it said will be accompanied by a share consolidation. It previously paid out a special dividend totalling around USD450 million in May, and intends to continue re-distributing surplus capital among shareholders.
"Capricorn ended H1 2023 a very different business than at the start of the year," Chief Executive Randy Neely commented. "The company is on its way to becoming a much leaner organisation, focused on tight cost control, shareholder returns and maximising value from our Egypt portfolio."
Capricorn anticipates full-year net capital expenditure to reach USD117 million to USD127 million, with full-year production between 32,000 to 36,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day but at the lower end of this guidance. A "detailed operational update" is planned for November 30 in London.
Capricorn also intends to accelerate the process commenced in July of transferring operatorship of three exploration concessions to its joint venture partner, Cheiron Petroleum Corp.
Neely, who became CEO in June, said that "it is clear to me that we have a robust and achievable strategy to maximise the value in our company."
By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter
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