May 7, 2013 / 11:54 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Husky Energy profit falls as crude prices slip

* First-qtr EPS C$0.54 vs C$$0.60 year earlier

* Adjusted EPS C$0.56

* Cash flow rises 9 percent

* Says first production on track for Sunrise project

May 7 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc, Canada’s No.3 integrated oil company, reported a 9 percent drop in first-quarter profit due to lower crude prices.

The company, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, said its net income fell to C$535 million ($530 million), or 54 Canadian cents per share, from C$591 million, or 60 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted profit fell 3 percent to C$547 million, or 56 Canadian cents per share.

The company said average realized prices for crude oil, natural gas liquids and bitumen fell to $68.32 per barrel in the first quarter from $87.11 per barrel a year earlier.

Cash flow, a key measure of the company’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, rose 9 percent to C$1.28 billion, or C$1.30 per share.

Production rose slightly to 321,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) from 320,000 boe/d a year earlier.

Husky, a heavy oil producer, owns refineries in Alberta, British Columbia and Ohio.

It is also building the C$2.7 billion Sunrise oil sands project in northern Alberta. The 60,000-barrel-per-day project, co-owned with BP Plc, is expected to begin operations next year.

The company said on Tuesday the first phase of the project was about two-thirds complete, with first production on track for 2014.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of about C$28.72 billion, closed at C$29.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

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