Equinor Q4 operating profit beats forecast

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Equinor Q4 operating profit beats forecast © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Equinor’s logo is seen displayed in this illustration taken, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -Equinor on Wednesday posted higher-than-expected profits for the final three months of 2023, but cut its overall shareholder payments and said production was expected to be unchanged in 2024.

The oil and gas producer’s adjusted earnings before tax for October-December fell to $8.68 billion from $17.0 billion a year earlier, beating the $8.46 billion predicted in a poll of 26 analysts compiled by Equinor.

Overall dividends and share buybacks would be cut to $14 billion in 2024 from $17 billion in 2023.

“We expect to grow our cash flow and sustain competitive returns. We are extending the outlook for stable contribution from oil and gas to 2035,” Chief Executive Anders Opedal said in a statement.

Equinor in 2022 overtook Russia’s Gazprom (MCX:) as Europe’s biggest supplier of as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine upended decades-long energy ties.

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