August 16, 2016 / 2:52 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ecopetrol net profit falls sharply in second quarter

(Adds further production figures, comment from chief executive)

BOGOTA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Net profit at Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol tumbled nearly 48 percent in the second quarter, the company said on Tuesday, due to a fall in sales and output.

Net profit attributable to shareholders was 787 billion pesos ($270.6 million) between April and June, compared with 1.5 trillion pesos during the same period of 2015.

Gross income was down 27 percent to 6.75 trillion pesos in the second quarter due to the effects from a 28 percent fall in crude prices as well as lower production, the company said in a statement.

Sales volume fell 7 percent to 946.9 billion pesos from the 1.02 trillion pesos recorded in the same quarter last year, due to a decrease in crude available for export.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped 18.1 percent to 4.52 trillion pesos.

Net profits were up 117 percent on first quarter numbers, the company said.

Production in the first half of the year was 7.1 percent lower than during the first half of 2015, down to 716,000 barrels per day (bpd) because of fewer well perforations and the suspension of operations at some fields due to low prices.

The company is examining changes to its four-year business plan, chief executive Juan Carlos Echeverry said in the statement. The plan will be announced in October.

“The 2017-2020 business plan for the company is being reviewed with the price scenarios that we envision and the efficiency gains we’ve achieved, which could be even higher in future,” Echeverry said.

Ecopetrol is Colombia’s largest company and produces a majority of the country’s oil. It also operates in Brazil, Peru and the United States.

The company, which has sold several major non-oil related assets in a bid to refocus its operations, recently took full control of the Rubiales and Cusiana fields, which it says will increase output by 60,000 bpd. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Bill Trott)

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