Statoil's 2012 net profit slides 12.5% to $12.5 bn

Statoil's 2012 net profit slid 12.5 percent to 68.9 billion kroner ($12.5 billion, 9.3 billion euros), the Norwegian state-owned oil and gas giant on Thursday.

The company said the drop in net earnings came because of exceptional financial items inflating 2011 results.

Operating profit dipped only 2.5 percent to 206.6 billion kroner, while revenue rose 9 percent to 723.4 billion kroner.

Fourth quarter net profit fell by nearly 50 percent year-on-year to 13 billion kroner.

"2012 was a year of strong strategic and operational progress for Statoil," said chief executive Helge Lund.

Production climbed 8 percent to slightly over 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day last year in line with the company's target.

"We are well underway to deliver profitably on our ambition of producing more than 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in 2020," added Lund.

The company's reserve replacement ratio came in at 1.1, meaning it found more new oil and gas than it was currently exploiting.

Statoil said it would spend around $3.5 billion in exploration activity in 2013 and aimed to complete around 50 exploration wells during the year.

phy-rl/yad