Total Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates, Helped by Refining

Total SA posted first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as cost cuts, rising production and resilient refining earnings helped the French company offset the slump in crude prices.

Adjusted net income fell 37 percent from a year earlier to $1.64 billion, the company based in Courbevoie near Paris said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.25 billion, according to the average of 10 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s refining and chemicals division improved its results “thanks to a record-high utilization rate of 94 percent and favorable petrochemicals margins,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in the statement. “The upstream portfolio benefited from the lowest technical costs among the majors.”

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