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    Husky Energy Registers Strong Quarter

    Canadian chain bucks trend of weak earnings among oil companies.

    CALGARY, Alberta

    Husky Energy Inc., operator of more than 600 convenience stores across Canada, pumped out a 13 percent jump in third-quarter profit, making Canada's third-biggest oil company one of just a handful in the industry to post better results amid lower oil and gas prices.

    Husky, the subject of takeover speculation since early September, said the improvement was due to higher oil and gas production. The company, controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, said refined products operating earnings jumped 150 percent to $35 million due to higher gasoline sales.

    Net income was $110 million, up from year-earlier $45 million. Revenue rose to $1 billion from $700 billion.

    Husky sells gasoline in Western Canada under the Husky and Mohawk banners, and operates the 60,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Saskatchewan.

    Earlier this month, Husky chief executive John Lau said talks with unnamed parties about the sale of the company or an acquisition were delayed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Firms, such as TotalFinaElf , Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and PanCanadian Energy have been discussed as potentially having an interest in Husky.

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