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OMV NZ pays record dividend to Austrian parent

Monday 23rd July 2012

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OMV, New Zealand's largest producer of liquid hydrocarbons and third-biggest gas producer, posted a record profit in 2011 as it benefited from increased production and improved prices for crude oil.

Profit rose 16 percent to $324.9 million in calendar 2011, the local unit of Vienna-based OMV AG said in its financial statements. Sales rose 8.9 percent to $890 million.

OMV owns 69 percent of Taranaki's Maari field, as well as 26 percent of Pohokura gas field and 10 percent of the Maui gas field.

The company's local unit typically refrains from commenting on output from individual fields and questions were referred to a Wellington public relations firm. However, the Austrian parent cited increased production from New Zealand and Libya for a jump in output in the second quarter of this year and production rose each quarter last year.

Sales and profit from New Zealand are the biggest since OMV first began posting its financial statements with the Companies Office in 2001 and allowed the local unit to make a record dividend payment to the parent of $485.8 million, or $2,313 a share in 2011, more than double the payment for 2010.

OMV has invested $1.7 billion on its New Zealand projects, including $1 billion on Maari. Managing director Peter Zeilinger said current investment amounts to "over $400 million in new wells in Maari and other adjacent exploration permits in the coming years," Fairfax Media reported.

OMV New Zealand paid $126 million in income tax last year, up about 7 percent from what it paid in 2010. Cost of sales rose 2 percent to $387.5 million and included $81.9 million in royalty payments.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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