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Poor refining margins drive profit down at Total

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October 31, 2013 03:30 AM EST | AP


PARIS (AP) — French oil company Total says net income fell 10 percent in the first quarter of the year, partially due to poor refining margins amid a sluggish European economy.

The company said Thursday that profit was 2.8 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in the July-to-September period. Revenue was 46.7 billion euros, a drop of 6 percent. Still, both figures were above consensus expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

While Brent crude oil prices were fairly stable in the quarter, refining margins — the profit from converting oil into useable fuel — plummeted 79 percent, as a poor economy cuts into energy demands. The company said its profit was also hit by higher exploration costs.