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Gazprom says second quarter profits rise 30% on strong sales

Moscow: The world’s largest gas company, the Russian giant Gazprom, on Thursday announced a 30 per cent rise in profits for the second quarter of 2013, helped by rising sales in its core operations in Europe.

Gazprom said in a statement its second quarter profits rose to 202 billion rubles (Dh22.7 billion, $6.17 billion) while its total sales in the second quarter were 1.1 trillion rubles ($33.6 billion).

The company’s profits for the first half of 2013 amounted to 582.7 billion rubles ($17.8 billion), 13 per cent higher than the same period last year, while total sales across its operations were up around 15 per cent to 2.57 trillion rubles ($78.4 billion).

Gazprom said that net sales of gas increased by 20 per cent in the first six months, driven largely by a 13 per cent increase in net sales of gas to Europe. Sales of gas to former Soviet states however fell 30 per cent.

As usual in its earnings statements, Gazprom provided no guidance for its future performance. But its half year profits indicate it is on track to at least match or likely outstrip last year’s full year profits of $38 billion.

While those profits were the third biggest of any company worldwide in 2012, they were a decrease of 10 per cent on the year earlier and the first such fall Gazprom has reported in a decade.

The state-controlled company, which was created out of the USSR gas ministry, is a cornerstone of the modern Russian state under President Vladimir Putin and a key earner of foreign currency.

The Russian state is the dominant shareholder, with 50.002 per cent of Gazprom’s equity. According to its annual report, Gazprom controls 18 per cent of the world’s gas reserves and 14 per cent of production.