Premier has produced an excellent set of financial results benefiting from our strong current producing asset base and a disciplined approach to expenditure.
Operating profits were increased by 81 per cent to $110.1 million and net profits were increased by 64 per cent to $33.7 million. With strong positive net cash flow we have a net cash position of $43.8 million at June 30.
Our exploration activity was successful in the first half, with three positive results in Indonesia and an encouraging start to our program in Vietnam. In total Premier participated in seven exploration and appraisal wells in the period, of which five encountered hydrocarbons. This success has continued into the second half.
We have a portfolio of development projects across the group, on new and existing fields, on which we have made good progress and which we are confident will drive our medium-term growth plans.
In what is a highly competitive market for assets, we are pleased to have completed the acquisition of an interest in North Sumatra block A. This is a prolific oil and gas block with strong government backing for the early commencement of a gas development project.
Our focus on maintaining world-class health, safety and environmental performance continues. We achieved 2.5 million manhours with no lost time incident for offshore and onshore in April 2006. We retained OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 certification from ERMCVS for our drilling program in February 2006. In July 2006 we received the OSHAS 18001 certification and retained ISO 14001 certification for our production business.
We are delighted to welcome a new non-executive director to the Board. Professor David Roberts joined the Board on 28 June and brings with him over 30 years of experience in all aspects of exploration worldwide. I am grateful for many years of advice and assistance from our two retiring non-executives, Azam Alizai and Ian Gray who recently left the Board.
Premier's strategy of adding value through both exploration and development of existing reserves is firmly in place. Each of our four regional businesses are expected to contribute to meeting our medium-term growth target of at least 50,000 boepd. We have added a number of key senior employees across our business units to ensure delivery of this target.
It is pleasing to record our exploration successes in the first half of the year. In addition, our team has worked extremely hard to secure rigs for all the key wells in 2007 in what is a challenging service market. Through portfolio management, we expect to maintain high levels of activity within a disciplined exploration spend. The next 12 months will see a continuing high level of exploration activity with key wells in Vietnam, UK, India and Guinea Bissau.
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