Italy's Eni 1Q earns down 57 percent

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 3:31pm EDT

MILAN (AP) -- Italy's largest energy company, Eni SpA, says that its first-quarter profits dropped 57 percent, partly because conflicts in Nigeria and Libya led to lower production.

The Rome-based company said Wednesday that net profit for the first three months of the year was EUR1.5 billion, compared with EUR3.62 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Production was down 5 percent to 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day due to the impact of conflicts in Nigeria and Libya and the temporary shutdown of a field in Britain. Natural gas sales were down 1.3 percent.

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni confirmed growth and profit forecasts for the year despite the first-quarter downturn, citing the renegotiation of supply contracts and increased production targets for the year.

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