Oil and Gas

Total cuts investment target, keeps dividend amid pandemic

A worker speaks on a mobile telephone as he passes Total SA branded oil drums stored in the warehouse at the Ladol free trade zone port in Lagos, Nigeria.
George Osodi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

French oil and gas major Total on Friday again trimmed its investment target for 2020 as the coronavirus crisis bit, though the group returned to profit in the third quarter and maintained its dividend.

It cut its investment target to $13 billion from $14 billion and said it was keeping a lid on operating cost cuts, too.

It reported net income of $202 million, down 93% from a year earlier, but rebounding from a loss in the second quarter when it wrote down the value of assets. Adjusted net income fell 72% to $848 million.

Energy companies were hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and a collapse in fuel demand.

The price of Brent crude has largely stayed above $40 a barrel since June, though Total on Friday said the market remained uncertain.

While rivals such as Shell and Eni have cut their dividends, Total has stuck with its payouts and said it would maintain a dividend of 0.66 euros per share for the third quarter.