Island ‘will ride out €2.5m losses’

ISLAND Oil and Gas has said it is confident in riding out the economic downturn, despite posting a loss of £2.24 million (€2.5m) for the first half of its financial year.

Island  ‘will ride out €2.5m losses’

The loss generated by the Dublin-based company — which reports in sterling and has its shares listed on London’s AIM market — for the six months to the end of January, compared negatively to a profit of £418,000 for the same period last year.

Similarly, an operating profit of £900,000 for the first half last year turned into a loss of £400,000 for the latest six-month operating period. There was also a loss per share of £1.92, which was down from earnings per share of 15p last year.

The company said yesterday that it has developed “exciting new opportunities” for business growth in Morocco and Albania and has an asset value underpinned by its Celtic Sea gas assets.

“In a testing global financial climate we are confident that our regionally targeted strategy, combined with our top quality management will bring Island through to success.

“Europe desperately needs to consider solutions to its security of supply issues. We believe that all of our current operations could be part of the solution. Our balanced portfolio contains both gas storage potential, in addition to exploration and development on the frontiers of Europe, where there is the proven potential for significant new discoveries,” said Island’s chief executive Paul Griffiths.

The company added that it has been discussing the sale of gas and gas storage arrangements with a number of interested parties and the regulatory authorities here. It said that the conversion of one or both of the Old Head of Kinsale and Schull gas fields into a gas storage facility “would materially contribute to the strategic gas storage capacity for Ireland”.

Mr Griffiths also said that the company’s Celtic Sea assets are attracting the attention of a number of utility companies that are interested in gaining access to potentially valuable gas storage facilities.

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