PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - French oil and gas major Total said its net adjusted profit rose 29 percent in the third quarter, in line with expectations, thanks to increased output and high refining margins, while cost reductions exceeded its target for the year.
Total's oil production rose 6 percent in the quarter, while adjusted net operating income from its upstream exploration and production branch soared 84 percent compared with the same period a year ago, buoyed by a 14 percent rise in the Brent crude oil price.
"The group took full advantage of the favourable environment thanks to the performance of its integrated model and its strategy to reduce its breakeven point," Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.
Total said its net adjusted profit for the quarter hit $2.7 billion, in line with a Reuters poll of analysts' forecasts.
The company said its cost reduction target for the year will be more than $3.6 billion compared with the $3.5 billion it had previously expected, as it continued to drive down costs.
It added that the cost of production was now below $5 per barrel for the past three months, ahead of the target of $5.5 per barrel for the year. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)