UPDATE 2-Husky Energy posts smaller-than-expected loss due to costs cuts

Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:24pm EST
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(Adds quotes, Sunrise details)

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta Feb 26 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc , Canada's No. 3 integrated oil company, posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday as cost cuts help cushion the impact of slumping crude oil prices.

The company posted a loss of C$69 million ($51 million), or 9 Canadian cents per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of C$603 million, or 65 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago quarter included a non-cash charge of C$622 million related to the impairment of certain mature assets.

Operating losses were 5 Canadian cents per share, lower than analysts' estimates of 10 Canadian cents.

"We are now well into what has become one of the largest oil price routs in history," Husky Chief Executive Officer Asim Ghosh said on a fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts, adding that the company's strategy was standing it in good stead.

Husky shares were last up 4.8 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$14.09, boosted by a rally in benchmark crude oil prices.

Husky, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, said it is steadily ramping up production at its joint venture Sunrise oil sands project in northern Alberta. The steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project is producing around 25,0000 barrels per day, although the company said it will not push the pace of new production given low oil prices.   Continued...