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Total cuts investment target, keeps dividend amid pandemic

[PARIS] Total on Friday trimmed its investment target for 2020 after a sharp drop in third-quarter net profit though the French oil and gas producer maintained its dividend.

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

It reported net income of US$202 million, down 93 per cent 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 per cent to US$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 US$40 a barrel since June, though Total on Friday said the market remained uncertain.

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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 (S$1.05) per share for the third quarter.


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