Cooper Energy Limited has maintained a strong and steady underlying earnings performance for the 2009 financial year, delivering EBITDAX of $25.7 million (FY08: $27.3 million) and lifting its cash reserves by 45% to a record $93.4 million (FY08: 64.6 million).
Oil production for the year from the Company's eight onshore oil fields in the Cooper Basin in South Australia was up 28% to an all-time record of 487,254 barrels (FY08: 380,135 barrels), which delivered oil sales revenue of $41.6 million (FY08: $45 million).
The strong result came in a year where the average oil price received by Cooper Energy in Australian dollars dropped by approximately 30% from A$118 per barrel (FY09) to A$85 per barrel (FY08) due to the onset of the Global Financial Crisis.
"Cooper Energy has just delivered its strongest ever year with our underlying earnings remaining relatively steady and our cash in the bank and oil reserves increasing substantially," said Cooper Energy's Managing Director, Mike Scott. During the year the Company participated in the drilling of seven wells -- five exploration wells, which resulted in three discoveries, and two development wells, which were both successful. As a result, Cooper Energy's developed recoverable oil at year-end increased by 32% to 1.9 million barrels (FY08: 1.4 million barrels), providing a solid platform for future production volumes.
"Our exploration program in FY09 delivered a 60% success rate (FY08: 40%), and, coupled with our 100% successful development drilling on Callawonga, our oil reserves and production are at an all time high," Scott said. "The growth in our cash and oil reserves and solid underlying earnings performance demonstrates the strength of Cooper Energy, which has emerged from the turbulence of the Global Financial Crisis without a scratch and in a very strong position to move forward with our growth aspirations," he added.
Scott said the Company was well positioned with its high cash levels providing excellent optionality for either organic or acquisitive growth, further revenue being delivered from a base case production volume budget of 368,000 barrels of oil for the 2010 financial year and a deep and high quality exploration portfolio. "We are entering the 2010 financial year in very good health and we are looking forward to delivering another year of strong results," he added.
In line with the Company's accounting policy, Cooper Energy wrote off $19.7 million in capitalized costs associated with prior unsuccessful exploration activities in Indonesia. This prudent write-off resulted in a pre-tax profit of $5.0 million (2008: $15.4 million) and a post-tax loss of $2.8 million (2008: $6.4 million).
"The drop in reported profit was mainly due to the prudent write-off of previously capitalized exploration costs in Indonesia, which is an accounting write-off that does not impact our healthy cash position," Scott said.
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