The French oil and gas producer Total has performed better than expected in the last quarter, despite the coronacrisis and the problems on the oil market. The slightly increased price of oil and the increased demand for fuels for cars and trucks have boosted sales and made profits.

In the third quarter, the adjusted net profit amounted to nearly 850 million dollars, almost three quarters less than the same period a year earlier. Still, it’s more than analysts expected. Total was thus able to reduce its debts and pay dividends to shareholders.

Total made the most profit from oil and gas production and sales of petrol at petrol stations. The other branches of Total, such as liquefied natural gas (lng) and oil refineries, were affected by falling prices and declining demand, particularly for aviation fuel. The aviation sector has also been hit hard by the coronacrisis. There’s been a lot less flying for months.

According to the company, the future of the oil market remains uncertain and depends on the speed with which demand is recovering worldwide. However, the company expects that the average price for lng will recover in the coming quarter, due to rising oil prices.

Total also holds out a strong hand this year and hopes to save more than a billion. Of all European oil companies, Total is the only one to pay dividends this year.

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