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Companies News
Novus Announces Huge Bottom Line Loss
By Peter Mavromatis, 13 Mar 2003

Novus Petroleum Ltd (NVS) has booked a net loss for the 12 months to December 31, 2002 was $33.97m compared to a net profit of $4.05m in the previous corresponding period.

Lower production was due to asset sales and the strengthening Australian dollar which overshadowed a stronger oil price and increased production from the company`s Indonesian properties.

During 2002, NVS drilled a total of eight wildcat exploration wells. The 2002 result included an exploration write-off of $66.7m.

The bulk of the write-offs, $61.6m, were announced in the half yearly accounts in September and represent the carrying value of successful exploration and resultant gas discoveries in Indonesia and Pakistan.

Several non-cash items offset the exploration write-offs including the revision of Kakap deferred tax balance, profits realised on asset sales and ceiling test writebacks following the sale of Malacca Strait and Lematang.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) decreased to $98.7m in the 12 month period and operating cash flow dropped to $70.4m. Net debt increased by $6.4m to $152.9m taking Novus` gearing to 47%.

The company said it is in a strong position to fund its current exploration program and is looking for further exploration and acquisition opportunities. The company expects its production profile to be stable.

Over the next few months, Novus will drill a number of exploration wells in Padre Island and Sorrento Dome in the United States and in the Maryborough Basin in Australia.

Novus has not declared a dividend, in line with company policy.

NVS was down 6 cents $1.03.

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