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Wintershall earnings plummet in Q2, output stable, costs down

FRANKFURT, Aug 19 (Reuters) - German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea on Wednesday reported a steep drop in earnings in the second quarter of the year but stuck to its strategic goals as it kept output volumes broadly unchanged and cut costs.

“We continue to keep our strategic goals firmly in sight. Our 2020 project delivery is on track,” said Chief Executive Mario Mehren, referring to progress at its Norwegian, Russian and Egyptian drillings.

Net profit in the three months declined 73% to 90 million euros ($107.48 million) year-on-year while production came in at 606 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d) in April-June, little changed from 614 million a year earlier.

Due to a weaker price environment for commodities as the pandemic curbed economic activity, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, and exploration expenses (EBITDAX), an oil industry measure, fell by 63% to 254 million euros.

Wintershall cut production costs, already competitive versus industry averages, further to $3.5 per boe from $4.1 in 2019.

Parent group BASF slid to a net second-quarter loss as it took an 800 million euro impairment against its stake in Wintershall DEA, due to the worsening price prospects.

It has postponed a plan to float the company it owns jointly with Russia’s LetterOne to next year from the second half of 2020. ($1 = 0.8374 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Michelle Martin)