LONDON (Alliance News) - Serica Energy PLC Tuesday posted a half-year loss, in line with the previous year, but expressed optimism for the full-year on the back of its acquisition of a stake in the Erskine field in the North Sea from BP PLC, sending its shares higher.
Serica said it made a pretax loss of USD2.6 million in the six months to June 30, flat on the loss it made a year earlier. Its cash balance at the end of the period was USD19 million, with no debt.
Serica acquired the 18% stake in the Erskine field from BP in June for USD11.1 million in cash and 27 million shares. The deal gives Serica a cash flow boost, increases its proven and probable reserves and helps its efforts to bring the nearby Columbus field into production.
The firm said all its major exploration commitments have been farmed out, helping to cut its overall operational costs. In Morocco, the cost of wells in the Sidi Moussa licence wells have been covered by farming out, limiting Serica's financial exposure.
"Serica has made excellent progress in the first half of the year, in particular with our acquisition of BP's stake in the Erskine Field. This agreement marks an important step for Serica by generating a valuable tax efficient income stream for the company, and assisting us in our ongoing efforts to bring Columbus on to production by providing us with a foothold in a nearby producing field together with access to associated infrastructure," said Serica Chairman Tony Craven Walker.
Serica shares were trading 9.6% higher at 15.75 pence on Tuesday, putting it among the top ten risers on AIM.