Investors have welcomed a large jump in half profit from oil and gas producer Beach Energy.
Shares in Beach Energy have jumped after higher oil prices and sales helped the producer more than triple its half year profit.
The company, which operates out of the Cooper Basin in South Australia and Queensland, grew its net profit to a record $160.5 million in the six months to December 31, up from $46.7 million in the same period a year earlier.
Its underlying profit, which excludes one-off gains and losses, also increased, to a record $158.1 million, up from $60.9 million in the previous corresponding period.
Beach Energy shares gained 13.5 cents, or 8.85 per cent, to $1.66.
The company’s operations are viewed as well located to supply increasing volumes of gas to Australia’s east coast, having struck a $1 billion eight-year sales agreement with Origin Energy last year.
The half year result was built on a 63 per cent rise in sales revenue to $557.2 million, on record sales volumes of 5.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
Beach is forecasting full year production of 9.2 to 9.6 mmboe and capital expenditure in the range of $450 million to $500 million as it continues to develop projects, including moving to the production phase of its Nappamerri Trough unconventional shale project.
A 17 per cent rise in realised oil prices to $129 a barrel, helped by a weaker Australian dollar, also contributed to the jump in oil revenue.
Gas revenue fell by two per cent to $110 million, due to lower sales.
Beach declared a special one cent a share dividend on top of an unchanged interim dividend of one cent.