Sector News

CEO: Total takes oil price hit but will not cut jobs

January 20, 2016

(Reuters) – French energy company Total expects a drop in 2015 results but does not plan to cut jobs as peer BP has done to weather currently low oil prices, its chief executive said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

Patrick Pouyanne told Europe 1 that the group had the financial capacity to weather low oil prices.

Pouyanne said Total like its peers was being hit by the fall in crude prices and that the company expected its results to drop by 20 percent.

A Total spokesman said Pouyanne was referring to the company’s full-year 2015 results, which will be presented on Feb. 11.

“We are resisting, but we are taking a hit,” Pouyanne said.

“We have the financial capacity to withstand the price volatility in crude. We know that in commodities, there are cycles. Yes, this cycle is very violent, down 20 percent in less than a month, 60 percent in a year.”

Asked if Total would cut jobs, Pouyanne said: “No. We are used to these cycles, and jobs cannot be the adjustable variable because I’ll need these workers when the price goes back up, and it will go back up someday. I don’t know when.”

British energy company BP said last week that it planned to slash 5 percent of its global workforce, about 4,000 jobs.

Pouyanne said Total had decided instead to not replace all retiring staff and to hire fewer people.

Total shares were up 2.1 percent, boosting France’s blue-chip CAC 40 index and tracking the sector index, which was also up by more than 2 percent at 0843 GMT.

(Editing by Andrew Callus and Jason Neely)

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