Ecopetrol Profit Falls for a Second Quarter

From Financial Times

By Andres Schipani

State-run Colombian energy company Ecopetrol reported a 22.3 per cent fall in net profit in the third quarter, its second straight quarterly profit decline.

The company, the country’s largest energy producer by volume and market capitalisation, said late on Monday that net profit in the three months to September slumped to 3.2bn pesos ($1.7bn) compared with 4.2bn pesos in the same quarter of 2011. It blamed legal provisions and the impact of an adjustment in the cost of depreciation and investments in its Chichimene field.

Despite the drop in profit, Ecopetrol remains one of the best-performing energy groups in Latin America, along with Brazil’s Petrobras, Venezuela’s Pdvsa, and Mexico’s Pemex. The company’s market value has risen more than fourfold since its initial public offering in Colombia in 2007, and earlier this year briefly surpassed that of Petrobras. The Colombian government still holds an 88.5 per cent stake in the company.

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