20 Feb 2014

NZ Oil & Gas profit up

1:40 pm on 20 February 2014

Half-year net profit for New Zealand Oil & Gas has almost halved due to the cost of exploration and the relinquishing of a permit.

The listed oil and gas explorer reported a 48% drop in net profit to $4 million for the six months to December, compared with $7.6 million last year.

The company says the drop was caused by the cost of exploring for the unsuccessful Matuku drill and by relinquishing the Kanuka permit in offshore Taranaki.

The explorer's operating profit, which includes exploration costs, rose 13% to $31.4 million, compared with $27.8 million. Operating costs rose 16%to nearly $25 million and the exploration spend more than doubled to nearly $24 million.

Chief executive Andrew Knight says the firm is delivering on growth ambitions and hitting exploration targets.

The company will pay an unchanged dividend of 3c a share.