Russia's Gazprom posts lower-than-expected quarterly loss


Moscow (AFP)

Russia's gas giant Gazprom on Friday announced a loss for the third quarter of 2015, citing rising costs and finance expenses, despite an increase in sales.

The net loss by Russia's biggest energy company between July and September of two billion rubles ($26.1 million at the current exchange rate) was lower than expected, however, with analysts having anticipated severe consequences from the Russian ruble's depreciation.

Revenues increased by 14 percent to 1.293 trillion rubles ($16.86 billion), more than expected.

Gazprom saw its net profit for the first nine months of 2015 increase by 21 percent to 674 billion rubles ($8.76 billion), the company's results said.

Gas sales to European countries, the company's biggest source of profit and revenues, grew by 17 percent during that time, to 1.430 trillion rubles ($18.64 billion), due to a boost in sales volume and the price in rubles.

The average oil price in dollars fell by 29 percent, however, due to the global collapse of oil.

Gas export sales to ex-Soviet countries fell by four percent to 292 billion rubles ($3.81 billion), due to a drop in sales volume amid a gas dispute with neighbouring Ukraine, Moscow's traditional key market, which has stopped all purchases from Gazprom since late November.

Gazprom also cited an increase in taxes on mineral extraction and the rising ruble-denominated costs of transit through European countries which rose by 34 percent over the nine months.