30/01/2012 17:43 AST

Dana Gas, which faces a $1 billion sukuk maturity in October, posted sharply higher fourth-quarter and yearly profits on Monday, buoyed by an increase in production and higher oil prices.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana, which has operations in the UAE, Egypt and Kurdistan, made quarterly profit of 147 million dirhams ($40 million), according to Reuters calculations. It had profit of 59 million dirhams in the year-ago period.

A Global Investment House analyst had forecast quarterly profit of 151 million dirhams, in a Reuters poll. HSBC estimated quarterly profit at 146.9 million dirhams in an analyst note dated January 30.

Dana reported full-year net profit of 506 million dirhams, up from 158 million dirhams in 2010. Reuters calculated quarterly profit from previous financial statements. Nine-month profit to Sept. 30 was 359 million dirhams.

Dana, which hired Deutsche Bank to advise it on the October Islamic bond, made no reference to how it will repay the outstanding $920 million on the sukuk in the statement.

Dana's share have been battered by fears it might struggle to honour the debt. Earlier this month, it said it would meet its debt obligations.

'Dana's share price has been under pressure as management has yet to announce a strategy to address a challenging liquidity position ahead of the October 2012 sukuk maturity,' the HSBC note said.

'We believe a default is unlikely, as sukuk holders are more likely to agree to a restructuring that can enable Dana to monetise its assets rather than see a complex liquidation with recovery potentially below 40 cents on the dollar.'

The Gulf's only listed natural gas firm has faced payment delays for gas delivered to Egypt, due to political unrest. 'The consequences of the so-called 'Arab Spring' are presenting the oil and gas industry with considerable challenges in the short term, and Dana Gas is not immune to these,' Dana Gas Chairman Hamid Jafar said in a statement.

Gross revenues for the year jumped to 2.53 billion from 1.78 billion in the previous year, according to Dana's statement.


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