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Gazprom Boosts First-Quarter Profit 44%

OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, said first-quarter profit jumped 44 percent, more than analysts forecast, after gas prices and export volumes rose.

Net income climbed to a record 468 billion rubles ($16 billion) from 325 billion rubles a year earlier, the Moscow-based natural-gas exporter said in a financial report posted on its website today. That beat the average estimate of 406 billion rubles from seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Revenue increased 38 percent to 1.32 trillion rubles.

Gazprom, which reports financial results to international standards months later than peers OAO Rosneft and OAO Novatek, benefited from recovering demand and higher prices in Europe, its biggest market by revenue, in the first three months of the year. The state-run producer links its gas prices to oil and products with a time lag of as long as nine months.

“The first half was very successful for Gazprom,” Sergey Vakhrameev and Natalia Poskrebysheva, analysts at Moscow-based investment bank IFC Metropol, said in an e-mailed note before the earnings release. The analysts “expect second-quarter results to be even better year-on-year.”

Sales volumes to Europe and other countries outside the former Soviet Union advanced 12 percent to 46.6 billion cubic meters in the first quarter, the Russian gas export monopoly said. Shipments to Europe and Turkey may reach 158 billion cubic meters this year and export revenue will probably rise to a record, Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said in June.

Capital expenditures jumped 82 percent to 397 billion rubles, giving the company a negative cash flow of 7 billion rubles, according to Gazprom’s cash flow statement.

Gazprom shares rose 0.2 percent to 178.17 rubles as of 10:50 a.m. in Moscow.

Source: Bloomberg