YPF reports swing to profit in fourth-quarter, ending dire year on brighter note

(Reuters) – Argentine state-owned oil company YPF on Thursday reported a 2020 fourth quarter net profit that reversed a trend of quarterly losses over the last year as the coronavirus pandemic hit the oil price.

The company, which is spearheading development of the South American nation’s huge Vaca Muerta shale fields, reported a net profit of $539 million in the fourth quarter and closed out 2020 with a total loss of $1.098 billion.

“2020 was marked by the impact of the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak and the drop in oil prices,” the firm said in a statement. “It was an extremely challenging year for the global oil and gas industry, and we were no exception.”

YPF in February restructured some $247 million of its 2021 bond maturing in March, receiving support from almost 60% of its bondholders. That breakthrough was seen as helping clear the way for the company to complete a debt restructuring amid a wider economic crisis in Argentina.

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