July 30, 2020 / 7:12 AM / 8 days ago

Eni cuts dividend as second quarter swings to loss

The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen on a booth stand during the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, Nigeria February 11, 2020. Picture taken February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/Files

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Eni cut its dividend and announced further spending cuts on Thursday after swinging to an adjusted net loss in the second quarter as the coronavirus crisis saps demand and undermines prices.

Eni, which had already flagged asset writedowns for the period, reported an adjusted net loss of 714 million euros ($839 million) in the second quarter from a profit of 562 million euros a year earlier.

It said it would cut costs and investments to the tune of 8 billion euros in the next four years. ($1 = 0.8508 euros)

The energy group introduced a new dividend policy tied to the price of Brent which offers a floor of 0.36 euros, adding that at the company’s current price scenarios that indicated a 0.55 euro this year.

Earlier this year the company said it would pay a dividend of 0.89 euros for the year.

The group said its new green businesses would account for 17% of investments in the next four years from a previous 12% and would reach 26% in 2023.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, who was re-appointed for a third term in office in May, pledged in February to cut oil production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one of the industry’s most ambitious clean-up drives.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Valentina Za

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