Beach Energy changes CEO

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

Beach Energy (ASX:BPT), 30% owned by Kerry Stokes' main company, Seven Group Holdings, announced on August 9 that it had appointed Mr Brett Woods as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, to start in February 2024 or on such other date as mutually agreed.

The statement mentioned that Mr Morne Engelbrecht had concluded his tenure as CEO, and non-executive director Mr Bruce Clement had been named interim Chief Executive Officer and would continue as an executive director.

The change was so sudden that the announcement came just two days after Beach had announced that the post-results briefing, scheduled for yesterday (Monday), would be led by Mr Engelbrecht.

The results from yesterday revealed that sales revenue fell 8% to $1.617 billion, despite a 9% rise in realized gas prices. However, underlying EBITDA fell 12% to $982 million, and underlying net after-tax profit dropped by 24% to $385 million.

This decline followed an 11% drop in production during the year ending June 30, amounting to 19.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

Interim CEO Bruce Clement stated, "Beach made significant progress in delivering critical new gas supply to markets, alongside rewarding shareholders with a 100% increase in dividends. Final and interim dividends totaled 4 cents (2 cents each), doubling the 2 cents per share paid in 2021-22."

Beach indicated that production guidance for 2023-24 would be within the range of 18.0 – 21.0 MMboe (compared to 19.5 MMboe in 2022-23), with projected capital expenditure around $850 million to $1 billion (compared to $1.1 billion in 2022-23).

According to Mr Clement, "In FY24, we remain focused on delivering several exciting growth catalysts. These include Perth Basin exploration, connecting the Enterprise gas discovery, advancing Waitsia to first gas (targeted for mid-CY2024), and drilling the offshore Kupe South 9 well. These efforts will establish a strong foundation for Beach in FY24 and beyond. The resulting production increases will be particularly timely, as markets require our products more than ever. Common themes include underinvestment in new supply, ongoing supply constraints, and robust demand."

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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