Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Exploration firm Melrose reports big fall in profits

Oil drilling platform
Melrose Resources operates in six countries around the world

An Edinburgh-based exploration company has reported a big fall in full year pre-tax profits, dropping more than £75m in 12 months.

Melrose Resources profits were £20.7m ($30.9m) for the year ending 31 December 2009 compared with £95.9m ($143.3m) the year before.

The group said it had suffered as a result of low oil prices.

The company operates in six countries around the world including Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania and the United States.

Revenues fell 40% to £150m ($224.4m). The company said it would dedicate about 30% of its capital budget for exploration. It also raised its full year dividend by 10% to 3.1 pence per share.

Robert Adair, Melrose Resources's executive chairman, said: "Melrose has again delivered a strong set of operating results and we achieved a record level of production, underpinned by our Egyptian fields and five new developments coming on stream.

"We now look forward to 2010 when we plan to bring two new Bulgarian gas fields on stream and to progress our other gas developments in the Western Black Sea towards project sanction."



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