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Eni cuts production target

MILAN, Oct 29 – Italian energy giant Enel said on Thursday it was cutting its 2009 production targets as it reported a 60 percent plunge in third quarter profits.

The company said it now expected production this year to be "substantially unchanged" from 2008 levels, compared with its previous estimate that output would increase over the year.

It said this largely reflected problems in Nigeria, where rebels have attacked oil installations in the key Niger Delta region, and a fall in European gas demand.

In the three months to September, Eni said its production fell 4.9 percent.

Third quarter total net profit fell 57.8 percent from a year earlier to 1.24 billion euros (1.84 billion dollars) due to lower oil prices.

Adjusted net profit, which excludes exceptional items, was down 60,5 percent at 1.15 billion euros while sales dropped 32 percent to 19.14 billion euros.

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