Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni has returned to profit in Q2 2021 due to stronger oil prices.

The company reported an adjusted net profit of €929m in the three-month period to June 2021. In the same quarter a year ago, Eni recorded an adjusted net loss of €714m.

Adjusted operating profit in the quarter was €2.05bn, compared to a loss of €434m in the previous year.

Eni’s exploration and production (E&P) business reported a robust performance with adjusted operating profit soaring to €1.84bn. Last year, the segment incurred a loss of €807m.

The massive increase was attributed to an improved pricing environment and reduced costs.

Hydrocarbon production in the quarter amounted to 1,597kboe/d, dropping from 1,729kboe/d in Q2 2020. The drop in production was due to maintenance activities.

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The performance in the quarter, outlook and a new Brent reference scenario of $65/bbl also enabled the company to increase its dividend to pre-pandemic levels.

This will represent an annual dividend of €0.86 per share for the fiscal year 2021.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “The strong performances across our business and a continued focus on capital discipline resulted in strong cash flow generation in the first half of 2021 with €1.82bn of free cash flow after organic capital expenditure.

“These results, the progress on delivering our strategy, the outlook, and a Brent reference scenario of $65/bbl, have allowed us to increase our dividend back to pre-Covid levels at €0.86 per share, with 50% paid next September.

“We will also start a €400m share buy-back programme over the next six months.”

Last month, Eni and its partners made an oil discovery at the Eban-1X well in Cape Three Points Block 4 (CTP-Block 4) offshore Ghana.