CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP
A Total Energies gas station in the La Défense district, in the suburbs of Paris. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)
TAXES – TotalEnergies announced that it made a big profit in the second quarter, taking full advantage of the rise in oil and gas prices linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and at the same time giving arguments to supporters of the tax on “super profit”.
The French group more than doubled its net profit in the second quarter, to 5.7 billion dollars, against 2.2 billion in the same quarter of 2021. “The effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on energy markets continued in the second quarter, with oil prices exceeding $110 per barrel on average during the quarter”commented the CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, quoted in a press release from the group.
After this announcement, the opposition deputies quickly stepped up, especially since the National Assembly firmly rejected, on Saturday, the idea of the tax on “super profit” hope “wind gain” large multinationals, especially oil companies.
“Interests are closely guarded”
The socialist representative of Tarn, Valérie Rabault, did not fail to share these financial data by comparing them “to the 500 million given for the reduction of the pump price”, in reference to the cost for Total of its discount on fuel . On Twitter, his colleague Insoumis Manuel Bompard also pointed to these figures which show, according to him, that “more than ever, the tax on super profits must be put in place. »
“In the meantime, the government and Bruno Le Maire refuse to tax the super profits of the big oil groups and prefer to participate in the good communication operation of Total, promising a (mythical) reduction of 20 cents of fuel”, added the deputy. RN Thomas, Ménagé, whose parliamentary group also supports the tax on “superprofits”. “The interests of those profiting from the crisis are closely guarded,” commented rebel MP William Martinet.
The @gouvernementFR rejects an extraordinary tax on revenues linked to energy increases Here are the results… https://t.co/cXJCtfJlj4
— Valerie Rabault 🇨🇵🇪🇺🇺🇦 (@Valerie_Rabault)
10.6 billion profit for #Total in the 1st half of 2022. But the government is content with the rebate that… https://t.co/lXdGi3M31p
—Manuel Bompard (@mbompard)
Meanwhile, the government and @BrunoLeMaire refuse to tax the super profits of the big oil groups… https://t.co/iU9JpphWu5
— Thomas Menage (@Thomas_Mng)
But for the most part, these billions don’t raise an eyebrow. In France Info, the president of the Renaissance group of the Assembly, Aurore Bergé, decided that companies already pay enough tax in France, and this in a “relatively sufficient” way. “If you want to attract foreign investment and therefore jobs created in France rather than elsewhere, you need stability and an attractive tax framework,” he explained.
Growing dividends for shareholders
Symbolically, on this day of the publication of the successful results, some of the employees of the group went on strike at the call of the CGT, in order to “keep the pressure on” and demanded a wage increase that takes into account inflation, according to Thierry Defresne, CGT secretary of the European works council TotalEnergies SE.
“The shareholder return policy is strengthened by a 5% dividend growth and the continuation of the share buyback program of up to 2 billion dollars in the third quarter”its part underlined the group.
The profit for the second quarter was achieved despite a new provision of 3.5 billion dollars related to the potential impact of international sanctions on the value of the stake held by the Russian group Novatek, said TotalEnergies. .
Excluding these extraordinary items, adjusted net income reached 9.8 billion dollars for the quarter, against 3.5 billion last year. During the semester, it amounted to 18.8 billion, almost triple the first half of 2021.
See also at The HuffPost: Total in Russia? We asked shareholders about the invasion of Ukraine