ENI POSTS RECORD FIRST-HALF NET INCOME.
Italian oil group ENI posted a record net income of Euro 2,606 million (5,046 billion Lire), representing approximately 90% of net income earned in 1999 and more than twice the amount reported for the first half of 1999. Before non-recurring items, net income increased by 138%. This performance is due to the exceptional increase in prices for hydrocarbons produced and in refining margins, to higher hydrocarbon production sold, to increased natural gas volumes sold and transported on behalf of third parties, and to streamlining efforts which more than offset the decline in unit margins on retail sales in Italy and on natural gas primary distribution. The company's petrochemicals segment also contributed by improving its operating income by Euro 167 million. Operating income amounts to Euro 5,002 million (9,685 billion Lire), an increase of Euro 2,646 million over the first half of 1999, up 112% (118% before non-recurring items) Net financial income was Euro 49 million (95 billion Lire), a drop of Euro 4 million or 7.5%. ENI net income for the first half of 2000 was Euro 2,779 million (5,381 billion Lire), an approximately 29% increase over the first half of 1999. ENI expects to generate a much higher net income in 2000 than the record income generated in 1999 (Euro 2,857 million).