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MEG Energy Inc. MEG-T says higher energy prices contributed to it earning a $362-million profit in its latest quarter as revenues surged 68 per cent.

The Calgary-based oil sands developer says it earned $1.15 per diluted share in the first quarter, compared with a loss of six cents per share or $17-million a year earlier.

Revenues for the three months ended March 31 were $1.53-billion, up from $914-million in the first quarter of 2020.

MEG Energy was expected to earn $1.10 per share on $1.63-billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says its net debt was cut to $2.15-billion from nearly $2.8-billion in the year-ago period.

Chief executive Derek Evans said the first quarter was a record quarter for the company from an operational and financial perspective.

“The team achieved record quarterly production, which together with strong benchmark pricing and low differentials drove record free cash flow in the quarter, setting us up to be able to accelerate debt reduction and initiate share buybacks under our normal course issuer bid in the second quarter of this year,” he stated in a news release.

Among the records were $587-million in adjusted fund flow from operations and 101,128 barrels per day in bitumen production volumes.

It realized an average AWB (access western blend) sales price of US$83.55 per barrel during the quarter, up from US$65.42 in the fourth quarter, as the average WTI (West Texas Intermediate) price increased by US$17.10 per barrel.

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