Italian energy company Eni posted its highest net profit in at least a decade, completing a streak of record results for Europe’s biggest oil and gas companies after turmoil in energy markets amid the war in Ukraine.
Despite weaker performance in the last three months of the year, which weighed on the company’s share price on Thursday morning, Eni posted an adjusted net profit of 13.3 billion euros for 2022, the most since the group began reporting the metric in 2009. .
In the fourth quarter, adjusted net profit was EUR 2.5 billion, in line with the average estimate of analysts compiled by the company, but compared with each of the first three quarters, when the company reported figures of EUR 3.3 billion, 3.8 EUR billion and EUR 3.7 billion, decreased. . Eni shares were down about 1 percent on Thursday morning.
Chief executive Claudio Descalzi said the group had achieved “excellent financial and operational results” as it worked to secure new sources of energy for Italy and Europe to replace Russian hydrocarbons.
The weaker performance over the past three months was largely due to oil and gas prices falling from highs earlier in the year and slightly lower-than-expected production.
“During the year, we were able to complete deals and activities that fully replace Russian gas by 2025, leveraging our strong relationships with producing nations and a rapid development approach to increase volumes from Algeria, Egypt, Mozambique, Congo and Qatar,” he said .
Descalzi, who has led Eni since 2014, told the Financial Times last year that Europe should develop a “south-north” energy axis with Africa, rather than relying on US liquefied natural gas to replace pipeline supplies from Russia.
Gas supplies from Russia have fallen dramatically since their peak invasion of Ukraine a year ago and the EU committed to the complete end of Russian energy.
The disruption to energy markets caused by the invasion drove fossil fuel prices to historic lows last year, weighing on producers’ profits and triggering new windfall taxes in the UK and EU.
Eni it said it owed an additional €1.7 billion in taxes due to new levies, €1 billion of which it already paid in 2022.
Like its European competitors, Eni is building new low-carbon businesses to help reduce the company’s emissions.
It delayed the initial public offering of its retail and renewable energy business last year in light of poor market conditions. But Descalzi said the unit, known as Plenitude, was still able to double its installed renewable energy capacity to 2.2 gigawatts during 2022. The company expects that to grow to 6 GW by 2025 and 15 GW by 2030.
On Thursday, Eni will publish its strategy for the next three years.