VIENNA, May 11 (Reuters) - Austrian oil and gas group OMV's adjusted operating profit in the first quarter fell 50 percent to 167 million euros ($190 million), slightly above expectations, as low oil prices kept gnawing at its upstream profit, it said on Wednesday.
OMV is increasingly cutting costs rather than aiming at boosting its output, which it expects will come in at 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, more or less flat on 2015.
OMV is slashing investment, which fell to 467 million euros in the first quarter from 707 million a year earlier.
"We also improved our cash flow from operating activities, driven by the cash generation in Downstream but also supported by increased production in Norway," Chief Executive Rainer Seele said, referring to a 43 percent rise in cash flow to 579 million euros.
OMV's downstream business, including refining and marketing, has buoyed its results, but margins in that unit are also shrinking, weighing further on its results.
The average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts for clean current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was 158 million euros. This measure strips out special items and inventory holding gains or losses.
(Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Michael Shields)
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