Australia’s Santos full-year profit plummets 42% on weak commodity prices

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 4:32 PM

(Reuters) – Australian oil and gas producer Santos reported a 42% drop in its annual underlying profit on Wednesday on the back of persistent weakness in commodity prices.

Oil prices have fallen from the elevated levels seen in 2022 after the Russia-Ukraine war, while demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) remains pressured by weak global industrial production and slow economic recovery in China, which reclaimed the title of the world’s top LNG buyer in 2023 from Japan.

Santos, which earlier ceased talks of a potential $52-billion merger with larger rival Woodside Energy, reported an underlying profit of $1.42 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with $2.46 billion a year earlier.

That missed a consensus estimate of $1.49 billion, according to Jarden Research.

The Adelaide-based company declared a final dividend of 17.5 cents per share compared to 15.1 cents apiece, declared a year ago.

(Reporting by Echha Jain and Ayushman Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Pooja Desai)