CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP
A Total Energies gas station in the La Défense district of a Paris suburb. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)
TAXES – TotalEnergies has announced that it has made huge gains in the second quarter by taking full advantage of the rise in oil and gas prices linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while making a case for proponents of taxing “super wins”.
The French group more than doubled its net income to $5.7 billion in the second quarter, up from $2.2 billion in the same quarter of 2021. “The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on energy markets continued into the second quarter, with oil prices topping $110 per barrel on average during the quarter.”commented the CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, in a press release quoted by the group.
After this announcement, the opposition MPs quickly spoke up, especially since the National Assembly rejected the idea of a tax on scarce last Saturday “super wins” Where “windfall gains” large multinationals, especially oil companies.
“Interests are well guarded”
The Socialist MEP from Tarn, Valérie Rabault, did not fail to share these financial data, comparing them “with the 500 million granted for the reduction in the price at the pump”, referring to the costs that Total through got his fuel rebate. His colleague Insoumis Manuel Bompard also pointed out these figures on Twitter, which he believes show that “more than ever the tax on super profits needs to be introduced. »
“Meanwhile, the government and Bruno Le Maire refuse to tax the super-profits of the big oil companies, preferring to participate in Total’s fine-communications operation, which promises a (fictional) 20 cent reduction in fuel,” added the MP. RN Thomas, Ménagé, whose group also supported a tax on “super profits”. “The interests of those who profit from the crisis are well protected,” commented rebellious MP William Martinet.
The @gouvernementFR rejected an exceptional taxation of profits related to the increase in energy. Here are the results… https://t.co/cXJCtfJlj4
— Valerie Rabault 🇨🇵🇪🇺🇺🇦 (@Valerie_Rabault)
10.6 billion profit for #Total in the first half of 2022. But the government is content with a rebate of… https://t.co/lXdGi3M31p
—Manuel Bompard (@mbompard)
Meanwhile, the government and @BrunoLeMaire refuse to tax the super-profits of the big oil companies… https://t.co/iU9JpphWu5
— Thomas Menage (@Thomas_Mng)
But on the part of the majority, these billions do not raise eyebrows. Speaking to France Info, the leader of the Renaissance group in the assembly, Aurore Bergé, judged that companies already pay enough taxes in France, and “quite a lot” at it. “If you want to attract foreign investment and therefore jobs that are created in France and not elsewhere, you need stability and an attractive fiscal framework,” she explained.
Flourishing dividends for shareholders
Symbolically, on the day of the publication of thriving results, some employees of the group went on strike at the call of the CGT to go on strike “Keep the pressure up” and demand wage increases taking inflation into account, according to Thierry Defresne, CGT secretary of the European Works Council TotalEnergies SE.
“Shareholder return policy bolstered by 5% dividend growth and continuation of up to $2 billion share repurchase program in the third quarter”underlined for his part the group.
The second-quarter profit came despite a new $3.5 billion provision related to the potential impact of international sanctions on the value of its stake in Russian group Novatek, TotalEnergies said.
Excluding these items, adjusted net income for the quarter was $9.8 billion compared to $3.5 billion a year ago. Over the semester, it totaled 18.8 billion, almost three times the amount for the first half of 2021.
See also on The HuffPost: Totally in Russia? We asked shareholders about the invasion of Ukraine