Australian energy giant Woodside has recorded half-year profit of US$507 million, 49% higher than 1H 2016, thanks to higher oil prices and lower production costs.
The market reflected satisfaction with the result, pushing Woodside shares up as much as 5.6 per cent in early trading.
CEO Peter Coleman saying the oil and gas producer is in a "strong" position for the second half.
Reflecting those differences, Woodside rewarded shareholders with a near 50% jump in interim dividend to 49 United States cents a share from 34 cents in the June half of 2016.
"We are progressing the priorities we outlined in our plan to deliver shareholder value across three distinct time horizons", said Mr Coleman.
Unchanged inflation raises hopes that prices have peaked
Inflation is then forecast to fall to 2.6% in 2018, before settling at 2.2% in both 2019 and 2020 respectively. With consumer spending accounting for a large part of the economy, there are broader implications.
Statutory sales sales slid 3.6 per cent to $US1.869 billion, despite a 10 per cent average increase in realised oil and gas prices to $US43 per barrel of oil equivalent.
"[Additionally], we are progressing concept definition on Pluto LNG expansion; the North West Shelf project participants have agreed on a tolling proposal and started discussions with third party resource owners, and the Browse joint venture participants have agreed on Browse to NWS as the reference development concept for technical studies", Coleman said.
Costs per unit of production fell 6 per cent from the first half a year ago, and were 2 per cent down on the December 2016 half.
"We look forward to Wheatstone production commencing and remain focused on supporting the operator achieving this in a safe and reliable manner".
Woodside bought a stake in the $34 billion Wheatstone project in 2015, and it is set to contribute more than 13 million boe to Woodside's annual output at full tilt.
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