Russia's Gazprom Neft Q1 profit, sales soar.
MOSCOW, July 21 (Reuters) - Russian oil firm Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas export monopoly Gazprom, said on Monday its first quarter net profit more than doubled on higher oil prices and higher sales of oil due to an acquisition.Gazprom Neft Aims to Become Russia’s Leading Oil Producer
The firm said in a statement its net profit under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rose by 110 percent to $1.41 billion in the first three months of 2008 compared to the same period a year ago.
Gazprom Neft, Russia's fifth-largest oil producer, said the results were supported by higher oil prices, increased sales of oil and refined products and high refining margins.
Revenues increased by 90 percent to $7.87 billion. Last year's acquisition of half of Tomskneft, a former production subsidiary of bankrupt former rival YUKOS, has allowed Gazprom Neft to boost sales despite flat production, analysts said.
The net profit figure came above some of the analysts' forecasts. Analysts at Renaissance Capital and Citi expected the firm to report net profit of about $1.2 billion.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, Gazprom Neft's net profit was $1.32 billion and revenues amounted to $6.42 billion.
The firm said its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 83.9 percent to $1.92 billion.
"We hope to maintain positive dynamics and boost our financial means to fulfil the company's strategic goals," Gazprom Neft's president Alexander Dyukov said in the statement.
Gazprom Neft also said its capital expenditures rose by 85 percent to $781.2 million in the first quarter of this year. It plans to increase capex by 36 percent to $3.7 billion in the whole year to increase stagnating output.
The firm has been fighting falling production since it was purchased by Gazprom in 2005 from former owner, billionaire Roman Abramovich. Last year's production of around 43 million tonnes was flat on 2006.
The firm said its operating expenses slightly decreased to $510.8 million in the first quarter from $519.8 million in the first three months of last year.
Gazprom Neft (GZPFY.PK), the oil production subsidiary of Gazprom (OGZPY.PK), has stated in its 2007 Annual Report that it expects to more than double oil output to 2.0 million barrels per day by 2020 from a production average of 864,000 bpd in 2007. A production figure of 2.0 million bpd would be higher than all other individual Russian oil producers