April 26, 2012 / 1:43 AM / in 6 years

Husky first-quarter profit falls on lower gas prices, margins

(Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) on Wednesday posted a 6 percent decline in first-quarter profit as a result of lower natural gas prices and tighter refining margins.

Canada’s third-largest oil producer and refiner reported net income of C$591 million or 60 Canadian cents per share for January-March, down from C$626 million or 70 Canadian cents per share a year earlier.

Husky - controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd 0013.HK and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd (0001.HK) - produces oil and gas in Canada and Southeast Asia and operates refineries in British Columbia and Ohio.

Husky said cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to fund new projects and drilling, was C$1.17 billion or C$1.20 per share for the period, compared with C$1.16 billion or C$1.30 Canadian cents per share last year.

Total production before royalties averaged 320,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), compared with 310,000 boe/d a year earlier.

Shares of the company, valued at about C$23.41 billion, closed up 0.3 percent at C$24.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Sunayan Bhattacharjee in BANGALORE; Editing by Chris Lewis

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