Italian oil and gas firm Eni has registered an adjusted operating profit of €1.31bn ($1.41bn) in the first quarter of this year, a 44% fall compared to the first quarter of last year.

The fall was attributed to the combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and collapsing crude prices.

The company reported an overall net loss of €2.93bn ($3.16bn), primarily due to alignment of the book value of inventories to market prices current at the end of the quarter.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: “The period since March has been the most complex period the global economy has seen for more than 70 years. Eni is tackling this period by relying on a safe operating organisation for its employees, contractors, and the populations of its host countries.

“The business portfolio is more resilient than ever before, while the capital structure is very solid thanks to actions taken in recent years.

“The Upstream portfolio, in particular, has a competitive break-even point and is flexible, allowing for activities and financial commitments to be adjusted as the situation develops. The Mid-Downstream portfolio is reacting well to the consumer crisis, recording EBIT that was higher than the same period in 2019.”

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By GlobalData

In first quarter results, Eni said it would spend about 30% less this year than planned and it expected next year spending to be 30%-35% lower than previously anticipated.

Last month, Eni said it would cut 2020 capital expenditure by 25%.

Production this year should be around 1.75 million to 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), down from a forecast in February of about 1.9 million boepd.

Eni also noted that it would save about €600m ($649m) in expenses this year.

This month, Eni made its new supercomputing infrastructure available for use in the fight against Covid-19. The energy major has partnered with European researchers to help in the analysis of the virus.

Last month, Eni and Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach completed the construction of a gas pipeline in the onshore Berkine basin of Algeria.