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UPDATE 2-Cenovus Energy's quarterly profit more than halves as crude prices ease

(Adds details on results, forecast)

April 26 (Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc reported a first-quarter profit on Wednesday that more than halved as crude prices scaled back and the oil and gas producer also lowered its full-year production outlook.

Crude oil prices eased during the quarter after rising to multi-year highs last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

During the first three months of 2023 oil prices came under pressure as the recent U.S. banking crisis raised concerns about a dip in oil demand.

Cenovus said its quarterly upstream production fell 2% to 779,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), while its downstream production decreased 9% to 457,900 barrels per day (bpd).

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The company lowered its annual upstream production outlook to between 790,000 boepd and 810,000 boepd, from its previous forecast of 800,000 boepd to 840,000 boepd.

Cenovus also cut its full-year forecast for U.S. downstream throughput to between 480,000 bpd and 500,000 bpd, from an earlier estimate of 510,000 bpd to 550,000 bpd, in part due to unplanned outages early in the first quarter.

"As the year progresses, we expect improved production and a fully operating downstream business," Chief Executive Alex Pourbaix said. Pourbaix will move to the role of executive chair after the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Cenovus' net income fell 61% to C$636 million ($466.45 million) in the quarter.

On a per share basis, the company earned 32 Canadian cents per share, compared with estimates of 31 Canadian cents, according to Refinitiv data.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company also raised its base dividend by 33% to 56 Canadian cents per share annually.

($1 = 1.3635 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)