MELBOURNE Feb 15 Origin Energy warned
on Tuesday it will book a A$1.89 billion ($1.45 billion) charge
in its half-year results, mostly against the value of its stake
in the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project.
At the same time it tweaked up its forecast for underlying
earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA), raising the bottom end to A$2.45 billion but keeping
the high end of the forecast range at A$2.62 billion.
It had previously forecast a 45-60 percent increase in
underlying EBITDA from continuing operations for the year to
June 2017, which implied a range of A$2.37 billion to A$2.62
Origin's shares jumped as much as 2.3 percent to a 17-month
high following the announcement, outpacing a 0.8 percent gain in
the broader market.
APLNG, operated by ConocoPhillips, was not
immediately available to comment on the full impairment on the
project in Queensland, one of three coal seam gas-to-LNG plants
which opened over the past two years amid a sharp slump in
global oil and gas prices.
Origin has a 37.5 percent stake in the project.
($1 = 1.3034 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)