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Max Petroleum narrowed losses for first half as production rose

Max Petroleum narrowed losses for first half as production rose

Max Petroleum (LON:MXP) has revealed narrowed losses for the six months to September 30 after production and sales increased by 17%.

The Kazakhstan-focused group produced 4,239 barrels of oil per day during its first half, up from 3,630 barrels in the corresponding period of 2013.

Oil sales totalled 751,000 barrels and the company had of US$54.1mln in revenue. Cash generation improved markedly, up 185% to US$27.5mln.

The group reported US$23.1mln of adjusted earnings, and at US$2.3mln its loss for the period reduced by more than 50% from last year's comparative of US$5mln. The loss included a US$6.8mln impairment relating to Kazakhstan VAT.

Max said it is still highly geared with US$82.8mln outstanding under a loan from Sberbank and warned that it may not be able to make repayments (starting with US$6.8mln due in March) should oil prices remain at current levels and if there was a delay to receipt of cash from its funding deal with AGR, a vehicle of the Assaubayev family.

AGR has agreed to invest £37.1mln (US$58mln) in return for a 51% stake in the business.

The final closing of the cash injection is subject to approval from Sberbank as well as regulatory sign-off in Kazakhstan.

Max said it is working closely with Sberbank over a potential loan restructuring, and it is seeking a moratorium on principle payments for 2015.

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