Colombia's Ecopetrol narrowly avoids second-quarter loss
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BOGOTA, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Colombian oil company Ecopetrol ECO.CN on Tuesday reported a 99% fall in second-quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts it would make a loss, and said it would invest up to $13 billion over the next three years.
The majority state-owned company reported a net profit of 25 billion pesos ($6.6 million) in the second quarter, compared with 3.49 trillion pesos in the year-earlier period.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 76% to 2 trillion pesos.
Analysts had forecast Ecopetrol would swing to a loss, due to the fall in global oil prices.
The results "reflect the impact of the unprecedented situation of the expansion of COVID-19", Chief Executive Felipe Bayon said in a statement.
"In April we saw the worst performance by crude prices since the crisis began," Bayon added.
Ecopetrol's results were slightly more robust than regional peers Petroleos Mexicanos [RIC:RIC:PEMX.UL] and Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.SA, which reported quarterly losses of around $1.9 billion and $524 million, respectively.
Total sales in the second quarter plummeted to 8.44 trillion pesos, from 18.31 trillion pesos a year earlier, the company said.
Net profit in the first half of the year fell some 98% to 158 billion pesos, while EBITDA for the first six months declined 54% to 7.25 trillion pesos.
The company plans to make organic investments of $11 billion to $13 billion from 2020 to 2022, primarily in Colombia, which Ecopetrol expects to help to push production up to 720,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by 2022.
Production in the first half of 2020 was 706,000 boepd, Ecopetrol said, within its earlier guidance range of 664,000 to 710,000 boepd.
($1 = 3,768.39 Colombian pesos)
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin and Julia Symmes Cobb, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)
((Oliver.Griffin@thomsonreuters.com; +57 304-583-8931;))
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