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Imperial Oil profit boosted by commodity prices

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Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO-T) said Monday its fourth-quarter profit rose 50 percent, mainly due to improved margins in its downstream business and higher crude oil prices.

The company, Canada's No. 2 oil producer and refiner, said net income in the quarter rose to $799 million, or 94 cents a share, up from a year-earlier profit of $534 million, or 62 cents a share.

Imperial, known for its dominant position in oil sands and heavy crude, and its national chain of Esso gas stations, said that the strength of the Canadian dollar resulted in an unfavourable foreign exchange impact on results.

Imperial, which is majority owned by oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., said quarterly revenue rose nearly 20 percent to $6.94 billion.

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