STAVANGER — “Strong operational performance and high production gave solid results and cash flow in a quarter with significant market volatility. We delivered growing returns for the full year and expect continued earnings growth. Following strong improvements in recent years, the board proposes an increase in quarterly dividend of 13% to $0.26 per share,” says Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Equinor ASA.
“Our cash flow generation was strong across the business. At an average oil price of $71/bbl, we generated an organic free cash flow well above $6 billion for the full year. We have also done several value-enhancing transactions, strengthened our financial position and reduced our net debt ratio from 29% to 22.2%,” says Sætre.
Adjusted earnings were $4.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $4 billion in the same period in 2017. Adjusted earnings after tax were $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the same period last year. High production at higher prices contributed to the increase. Due to sales pricing mechanisms in the market, the significant fall in oil prices led to a negative one-off effect with a higher than normal differential between realised liquids prices and Brent Blend average. In addition, higher exploration activity and lower refinery and products trading margins impacted adjusted earnings negatively. For the full year, adjusted earnings were $18 billion, up 42% from $12.6 billion in 2017.
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