Total Q4 Profit Slips 2%

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Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil company, said its fourth-quarter profit fell by 2% due to flat production and a charge the company had to take in its refining unit. On adjusted basis, Total said its profit in the quarter rose, but unlike most of its rivals, the French company was not able to translate higher oil prices into higher profits on a non-adjusted basis.

Fourth-quarter output rose to 2.387 million barrels of oil equivalent a day from 2.377 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2009. Total (TOT) said it is planning capital spending of $20 billion in 2011 up from $18 billion last year.

Total said it may be able to sell its Lindsey refinery in the U.K. by the end of the current quarter. Total had initially planned to sell the refinery by the end of 2010 after it entered exclusive talks with one bidder in the fall, following several offers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On a full-year basis, Total said its 2010 production grew 4%. The company's dividend for the year will be unchanged from the 2009 level.

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