Oil price slump hits Dragon’s first-half profits

The low oil price environment has resulted in Irish-listed exploration firm Dragon Oil posting an 18% year-on-year drop in first half revenues, while profits dipped by over 50%.

Dubai-based Dragon — which has its roots in Ireland — yesterday reported first- half revenues of $449.9m (€412m); down from $547m for the corresponding period last year. Operating profit was down by 54%, at just over $179m; while earnings per share fell by 52% to 28.26c. 

Average gross production — from its lead asset in Turkmenistan — amounted to 92,060 barrels of oil per day up from last year’s first half total of 73,440 barrels of oil per day. 

Dragon has updated its production growth target for this year to around 15% and expects to complete a further seven- to-ten wells before the end of December.

The company said its revenue decline in the first half, was due to lower realised crude oil prices.

Dragon’s new owner, the Emirates National Oil Company is set to delist the company from the Dublin and London stock exchanges on September 7, with the last day’s trading taking place three days previously.

The Emirates company said yesterday that minority shareholders in Dragon who have yet to accept its recently revised buyout offer have until August 28 to do so. 

The emirates company upped its offer for the 46% of Dragon it didn’t already own, to 800p (1,130c) per share, last week and has secured enough support to take the company private.

The conclusion of the Dragon ownership saga has resulted in a good outcome for all parties, according to Darren McKinley of Merrion Stockbrokers. 

“Ultimately, we were of the view that Dragon Oil was worth £8.05 per share,” he said.


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