In front of the deputies on the flash mission of the company’s income, the CEO of the company emphasized the efforts of his group to restore the purchasing power of the French.
In front of the representatives, Patrick Pouyanné did not let it go. Asked, Wednesday morning, by the elected members of the flash mission on the “superprofits” of oil and gas companies, the CEO of TotalEnergies defended the choices of his company, as well as the participation of the energy giant in public finances.
The hearing is expected: accused by some voices of the left of tax optimization, the company contributes a lot to the accounts of the United States, argues the businessman, assuring that he pays “income tax, in the countries where we do it“. In 2020, a year marked by Covid and the drop in oil prices, TotalEnergies paid about 6 billion dollars in “various taxes on income and production“, he specified. An amount that jumped to “16 billion“, a year ago, and that should rise to “30 billiondollars this year. “The majoritythese amounts are paid by oil-producing countries, wherethe tax matches the price of oil“, indicated Patrick Pouyanné, referring to a “rent earned by countries […] which produces natural resources“.
In France, on the other hand, the activities of TotalEnergies are not very profitable, even recording large losses, qualified the CEO. Beyond the corporate tax, however, the company pays “a contribution […] about 1.6 billion to 1.9 billion euros per year in the French budget“, including almost one billion euros in social security contributions.
A “rush” to the stations with a reinforced discount
Attacked by members of the flash mission, the CEO of TotalEnergies also emphasized the company’s efforts to restore the purchasing power of the French. The first version of his discount on pump prices, which was 10 cents, led to a “effect of trainingamong its competitors, as well as a jump in volumes of20%“. Finally, this operation costs “about 100 million eurosto the group. The enhanced version of the rebate, in effect since September, resulted in a “rush the French to the stations“, with an explosion in attendance at”80%»in the first week, an overwhelmed logistics system and long queues.
After two weeks, attendance remains high, about 30% of the volume, added the businessman, who acknowledged that the logistics remain complex to manage. “We are overwhelmed“, he summarized. “I can’t get anything […]. We are, after two weeks, at a cost of almost 71 million euros for the company“, described Patrick Pouyanné, adding that when private customers are many, those are professionals, with for example a professional card, “leave», angry at the queues in front of the stations.
At the moment, the successive discounts therefore cost his company 171 million euros, an amount that will increase as long as the device remains active. “You tell us: you make too much profit in refining [en France]well we use them to finance the operation of rebates“TotalEnergies boss defended.
While the elected representatives of Nupes presented this Thursday their proposal for a referendum on the shared initiative (RIP) aimed at taxing more “profits“companies, Patrick Pouyanné warns of the consequences of “tax projects“. “Our country is suffering from deindustrialization […]. Everything you do in Parliament is listened to by all investors“, he launched to the representatives, emphasizing that “bad signalsof investment risk that limits the attractiveness of countries.
The mission hearings will continue until the end of the month. The previous day, the managing director of Engie, Catherine MacGregor, explained that her group expects recurring net income of around 4 billion euros in 2022, which is higher than one year, an evolution that explained by the third of aprice effectof gas. His company remains convinced of the central role of this energy for “very long“: “It is a utopia to say that we will electrify everything“, he assured the representatives.
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