Colombia’s Ecopetrol posts record 2021 net profit on higher oil prices


Colombia’s majority state-run oil company Ecopetrol (ECO.CN) on Tuesday reported record net profit of 16.7 trillion pesos ($4.27 billion) for 2021, up from 1.7 trillion pesos in 2020, driven by higher oil prices and increased sales.

The result beat analysts’ expectations of 15.9 trillion pesos, according to Refinitiv.

Ecopetrol also reported fourth-quarter net profit that soared to 6.08 trillion pesos ($1.6 billion), from 675 billion pesos in the year-earlier period.

The company’s strong showing follows recent results from regional peers, including Brazil’s Petrobras and Mexico’s Pemex.

While Pemex reported a fourth-quarter net loss of just over $6 billion, Petrobras recorded a net profit of around $6.3 billion for the period, which took its full-year net profit to a record $21.3 billion.

«The annual results allow us to start 2022 with a solid financial position in a favorable price environment,» Ecopetrol Chief Executive Felipe Bayon said in a statement, adding that the company was in good position to meet its investment plans.

Last month, Ecopetrol said it will invest up to $6 billion a year through 2040 as it continues efforts to expand into non-conventional deposits and renewable energy. read more

Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 223% to 14 trillion pesos, the company said, while total sales rose 124% to 31.8 trillion pesos.

Full-year EBITDA rose to 42 trillion pesos from 16.8 trillion pesos, while sales soared to 91.7 trillion pesos from 50 trillion pesos in 2020.

Production for the year averaged 679,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), down 2.6% from 696,800 boepd in 2020, Ecopetrol said.

The company’s average daily production in 2021 had been forecast at around 680,000 boepd. Ecopetrol previously forecast 2022 production of between 700,000 and 705,000 boepd.

Colombia’s oil and gas industry, of which Ecopetrol is the biggest player, has bounced back after being battered in 2020 by stifled demand tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 3,910.28 Colombian pesos)

Reporting by Noe Torres and Kylie Madry in Mexico City and Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Writing by Oliver Griffin and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Christian Plumb and Bill Berkrot

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