Australia's Woodside Petroleum first-half profit down 12 pct

MELBOURNE, Aug 19, 2009 (AFP) - Australia's second-biggest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum posted a 12 percent drop in first-half net profit Wednesday as falling oil prices hit the bottom line.

Woodside said profit for the six months to June was 898 million dollars (742 million US), down from 1.02 billion previously.

The result, just ahead of market expectations, came as weaker oil prices in the first six months of 2009 offset a 10 percent rise in production and favourable exchange rate movements, the company said.

Woodside said revenues fell 21 percent to 2.03 billion dollars and earnings were down 11 percent to 2.02 billion.

The company said development at its Pluto liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia was progressing well, with peak construction expected to be finished in the next six months.

Woodside shares were up 1.70 dollars or 3.8 percent at 44.42 dollars in early afternoon trading on an Australian market that was higher overall.

Source: AFP

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