TAQA reported strong operational performance with top line revenue growth of 14% due to higher power and construction revenues offset by lower supplemental fuel revenues and oil and gas revenues. Overall gross profit declined by 7%, principally due to lower production and revenues in our oil and gas business, which was affected by weaker North American gas prices.
The increase in total assets was primarily due to the expansion of the Jorf Lasfar project in Morocco, the construction of the Gas Storage Bergermeer project in Netherlands, an advance payment towards the acquisition of BP’s interests in oil and gas assets in the Central North Sea and the acquisition of a 53.2% interest in the Atrush block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The increases were partially offset by divestments of certain non-core assets in Canada and the sale of our shares in Tesla Motors and WesternZagros.
Net profits declined by 14% partially due to a one-off charge restricting tax relief on decommissioning expenditures in the UK North Sea, lower North American gas prices and aluminium prices, a lower margin on back-up fuel at our UAE power stations and higher finance costs from new bond issues against repayment of maturing bonds. Partly offsetting these declines, we recognised a gain on divestments as described above and lower impairment charges in North America.
Carl Sheldon, Chief Executive Officer of TAQA, said: “This was a year of significant strategic achievements for TAQA across our range of businesses that position us well for the future. We have made great progress against our strategic objectives of expanding our power business in the MENA region, entering Iraq and signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turkish Government to develop power production and associated assets in Southern Turkey. Our expansion projects at Jorf Lasfar and Takoradi have also continued apace.
Our Oil and Gas business has also performed well, with a strategic acquisition in the UK North Sea securing the long-term future of what has historically been one of our most profitable geographies. The acquisition of the interest in the Atrush field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq is an excellent example of our growing maturity as an upstream operator and our tolerance for political risk in the Mena region. The start of construction of the gas storage facility at Bergermeer is a milestone and the team also completed a second successful open season for capacity in December.
TAQA is better positioned than ever to capitalise on the growth opportunities inherent in our businesses. Our extensive experience as an operator of complex energy assets, coupled with our strong financial position, gives us access to unique opportunities whilst continuing to optimise our existing activities.” WAM/TF