Business Irish

Saturday 24 March 2018

Dragon growth forecast to hit 10pc

Brian Swint

Dragon Oil, a Dublin-listed explorer focused on Turkmenistan, said growth in 2013 will be at the lower end of its 10pc to 15pc target.

Output increases would return to about 15pc next year as it seeks to achieve 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2015, it said. Profits after taxes slipped 7pc in 2012 to $600m (€445m).

Dragon has added assets in Iraq and Tunisia to diversify from its main production base in Turkmenistan and plans to use five drilling rigs this year, up from three in 2012.

It raised its dividend to 30 cents a share from 20 cents in 2011 and it bought back $200m in shares last year.

"We're on target to meet our production growth potential in 2015," chief executive Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa said. "Drilling is mostly focused on the second-half of this year and there will be more in 2014, but 2013 still has a lot of potential."

Shares rose 1.6pc to 592 pence in London. The stock has gained 13pc in the past year and was one of the best performing stocks on the ISEQ last year.

The company would continue to seek acquisitions in Africa and Asia, Mr Al Khalifa said. Dividends will remain in the same range as 2012 in the coming years and may see some "modest growth," he said. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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