July 25, 2018 / 6:24 AM / a month ago

Tullow to use $401 mln cash to invest, reduce debt, not dividends

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Africa-focused Tullow Oil will use its first-half free cash flow of $401 million to pay down debt and invest rather than pay a dividend, it said on Wednesday, after having raised the possibility of a return to payouts.

“The Board considered carefully whether to pay an interim dividend but concluded that, for the moment, free cash flow is best used to continue to pay down debt and to invest in assets,” Tullow said in a statement.

Chief Financial Officer Les Wood in April raised the prospect of Tullow, which made a profit last year after three years in the red, starting to pay dividends again.

Tullow had said it expected free cash flow to come in at around $300 million for the first six months of the year. Revenue was in line with forecasts at $905 million and gross profit slightly higher at $521 million. [

Tullow’s net debt of $3.1 billion was slightly below expectations for the first half.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, editing by Louise Heavens

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