x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UK tax charges hit Taqa profit

Profits at Abu Dhabi National Energy Company dropped by 14 per cent last year on the back of one-off tax charges in the UK and depressed commodity prices in North America.

Taqa shut down of one of its platforms in the UK North Sea, after discovering oil within a platform leg. Courtesy Taqa
Taqa shut down of one of its platforms in the UK North Sea, after discovering oil within a platform leg. Courtesy Taqa

Profits at Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) dropped by 14 per cent last year on the back of one-off tax charges in the United Kingdom and depressed commodity prices in North America.

Net profits last year were Dh640 million (US$174.2m), compared with Dh744m in 2011, the company reported yesterday, although revenue increased by 14 per cent to Dh27.5 billion from Dh24.1bn.

The British tax charge stemmed from a restriction on tax breaks for decommissioning costs in the North Sea. Lower prices for gas and aluminium in North America and higher financing costs also cut into profits, said the company, which is 75 per cent owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

“This was a year of significant strategic achievements for Taqa across our range of businesses that position us well for the future,” said Carl Sheldon, the chief executive. “Our extensive experience as an operator of complex energy assets, coupled with our strong financial position, gives us access to unique opportunities while continuing to optimise our existing activities.”

Yesterday shares of Taqa closed unchanged on the Abu Dhabi Financial Exchange at Dh1.38.

Last year Taqa built up positions in Iraq and the North Sea while offloading assets in North America, where commodity prices have fallen because of unprecedented supplies of shale gas and delays to the commissioning of a converted American refinery. In March Taqa sold off $600 worth of oilfields in Saskatchewan.

Its overall asset base expanded by 7 per cent, to Dh122.3bn from Dh114.6bn the previous year.

In the Kurdish region of Iraq, where Taqa is also expanding a power plant, it offloaded a minority stake in the oil producer WesternZagros before acquiring a 53.2 per cent in the Atrush block. Elsewhere in the region it launched exclusive negotiations for a $12bn coal-fired power project in Turkey and completed an expansion of a power plant in Morocco.

In Europe, an ambitious gas storage project in the Netherlands won a green light from a Dutch court over the complaints of local residents and environmentalists concerned about the impact on seismic activity and wildlife. Taqa also bought $1.3bn worth of North Sea assets from BP.


ayee@thenational.ae