Skip to comments.TotalFinaElf Profits Soar on Oil Prices; Changes Name to "Total"
Posted on 05/06/2003 12:31:33 PM PDT by Shermy
PARIS - French oil giant TotalFinaElf reported Tuesday a 48 percent jump in profit in the first quarter, boosted by high oil prices, and said it was changing its name to Total in an effort to revamp its image.
Chairman Thierry Desmarest also said the group stands "a good chance" of taking part in the future development of Iraqi oil fields despite Paris' opposition to the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.
Speaking at the annual shareholders' meeting in Paris, Desmarest conceded that TotalFinaElf will find it harder to secure contracts than its American and British rivals.
But, he said, the sheer scale of investments needed in Iraq requires the participation of all of the world's largest oil companies.
Analysts have said TotalFinaElf, which for years negotiated with Saddam's regime to develop two vast new oil fields, could be excluded from postwar Iraq due to strained diplomatic relations between Paris and Washington.
The company, meanwhile, said that net profit for the first three months of 2003 was 2.12 billion euros (US$2.39 billion), well ahead of forecasts and last year's 1.43 billion euros.
Revenue rose to 28.30 billion euros ($31.96 billion) from 23.78 billion euros ($26.86 billion) in the first quarter of 2002.
The sharp increase in crude prices Brent oil prices rose 49 percent helped counter the impact of an 18 percent decline in the value of the dollar to the euro during the first quarter, TotalFinaElf said.
Operating profit rose to 3.92 billion euros ($4.43 billion) from 2.43 billion euros.
The group's shareholders also approved a management resolution to change the company's name to Total, a move aimed at improving the company's image battered by a major 1999 oil spill, alleged human rights abuses in Myanmar and ongoing political scandals in France surrounding former state-owned Elf Aquitaine.
The name change is part of wider management program that includes an ethics review to recast TotalFinaElf as an environmentally and socially conscious global company.
Chretien must be smiling today.
Note the nifty new "Total" logo. Evocative of total global reach or control I'd say.
"Total" is arguably appropriate. It was a favorite word of the Nazis ("Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?", e.g.)
And in related news, the third world nation, formerly known as France, was renamed Franco-Arabia to improve trade relations with their Middle Eastern allies.
Perfect description of the "lost business plan".
Check out johniegrad's post above, its hilarious.
From the Mark Steyn column Welcome to Anglo-Saxon reality:
France, Germany, Russia, Belgium and Canada are not on the side of peace or morality or the Iraqi people. The pictures from the streets of Baghdad make that plain. But we are on the side of TotalFinaElf. Twice in recent columns, Diane Francis has mentioned, almost en passant, a curious little fact:
The Western oil company with the closest ties to the late Saddam is France's TotalFinaElf. That's not the curious fact, that's just business as usual in the Fifth Republic. This is the curious fact: As Diane wrote in February and again last week, "Total's biggest shareholder is Montreal's Paul Desmarais, whose youngest son is married to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's daughter."
Let's see if I've got this straight: TotalFinaElf's largest shareholder is a subsidiary of Montreal's Power Corp, whose co-chief executive is Jean Chrétien's son-in-law, Andre Desmarais. Mr. Desmarais' brother, Paul Desmarais Jr., sits on the Total board.
For months, the anti-war crowd has insisted that "it's all about oil," that the only reason the Iraqi people were being "liberated" was so that the second biggest oil reserves in the world could be annexed in perpetuity by Dick Cheney and Halliburton and the rest of Bush's Texas oilpatch gang. Instead, it turns out that, if it is all about oil, then the principal North American beneficiary of the continued enslavement of the Iraqi people is the family of the Canadian Prime Minister -- that's to say, his daughter, France Chrétien, and his grandchildren.
Is that dateline really . . . Paris? But I thought it was the U.S. that went to war for oil. /sarcasm