Gazprom's nine-month profits jump 40%

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The world's largest gas firm Gazprom said Thursday that its net profits for the first nine months of 2010 had risen 39.5 percent to 668.75 billion rubles (22.82 billion dollars, 16.7 billion euros).

The gas giant reported a total sales increase of 16.3 percent to 2.5 trillion rubles compared to the same-period figure from the previous year.

Gazprom reported a jump in net profits from sales within Russia and to ex-Soviet republics but a drop in income from sales to Europe and other countries.

In a statement, Gazprom said net profits from its sales to Europe and other countries outside the former Soviet Union had dropped by six percent due to a decline in ruble-denominated settlement prices.

But the volume of actual sales to countries outside the former Soviet Union increased by four percent, Gazprom said.

Net profits from Russian sales jumped by 34 percent, with a 28 percent increase recorded in former Soviet republics.

Founded in 1989, Gazprom grew out of the Soviet Union's Gas Industry Ministry and was partially privatised in 1993 in the much-criticised sale of state assets in post-Soviet Russia.

The state has retained a controlling stake of just over 50 percent, according to the company's website.

While much of its past foreign sales focused on Europe, which receives about 25 percent of its gas from the Russian monopoly, Gazprom has recently refocused its attention on Asia and is hoping to sign a major deal with China this year.

© 2011 AFP

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