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Santos profit falls 66% in first half of 2009, better outlook

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Major Australian oil producer, Santos (ASX: STO) reported net profit fell 66% to $102 million after tax for the half year ended 30 June 2009.

Lower international crude oil, condensate and LPG prices were the culprits for the lower first half result.

However, production of 26.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in the first half positions the company to meet its 2009 production guidance range of 53 to 56 mmboe.

First half production was 4% lower than last year, primarily due to natural field decline and the sale of 40% of GLNG® to PETRONAS effective August 2008, partially offset by higher gas
production in Western Australia and Indonesia.

Operating cash flow was $499 million, down 20%.  Despite the half, Santos has a strong balance sheet: $3.6 billion of cash and funds on deposit.

Interim dividend of 22 cents per share fully franked is unchanged from 2008.

Quick facts: Santos Ltd

Price: 5.75 AUD

ASX:STO
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $11.98 billion
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