February 4, 2010 / 3:14 AM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Husky Energy Q4 profit up on firmer oil prices

* Q4 EPS C$0.38 vs C$0.27 year-earlier

* Oil and gas production down 18.7 pct

CALGARY, Alberta/NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO), Canada’s No.3 integrated oil producer and controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, said its fourth-quarter profit rose as oil prices strengthened,

Husky reported net income of C$320 million, or $0.38 Canadian cents per share, up from C$231 million, or $0.27 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Cash flow, an indicator of the company’s ability to fund new projects, nearly doubled to C$657 million, or C$0.77 per share.

Husky, known for its extensive Canadian heavy oil holdings, offshore oil projects and refinery interests in Ohio, said last month that it and partner BP Plc (BP.L) were ready to go ahead with the first 60,000 barrel per day phase of their Sunshine oil sands project at a cost of C$2.5 billion.

The company’s oil and gas production averaged 291,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the quarter, down 18.7 percent.

Husky said it would pay a quarterly dividend of C$0.30.

During the quarter, benchmark oil prices averaged $76.13 per barrel, up 29 percent from the year-prior quarter.

Husky shares fell 19 Canadian cents to C$26.94 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Haggett and Clare Baldwin, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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