MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Gazprom saw net profit in the second quarter of 2009 fall 36% year-on-year to 192.564 billion rubles, the company said.
The result is higher than the net profit of 185.8 billion rubles analysts had expected in a consensus forecast. J.P. Morgan, which forecast that the gas giant would post a net profit of 192 billion rubles in the second quarter, was the most accurate among the 18 investment companies and banks surveyed by Interfax.
Revenue fell 16% to 708.295 billion rubles, beating the consensus forecast of 688 billion rubles.
EBITDA plunged 49% to 201.2 billion rubles compared with the consensus forecast of 211.035 billion rubles.
Net sales of gas increased 2% in the six months, mainly due to an increase in the weighted-average sales price, expressed in rubles, in all six sales regions. Sales to Europe rose 6% in the period due to a 25% increase in the ruble-denominated price, which was offset by a 24% decline in sales volumes. Revenue from sales of gas to FSU countries declined 1%, the result of a 57% decline in sales volumes and an offsetting increase in the ruble price. Revenue from gas sales in Russia fell 6% due to an 11% decline in volumes.
Operating expenses increased 26% in the period, mainly due to a doubling of the price on purchases of Central Asian gas, and an increase in retail operations on the European market. The increase was partially offset by cost cutting reflected in the "taxes other than on income", "staff costs" and "other" expense items.
In the first half of the year, Gazprom posted a net profit of 296.243 billion rubles, 48% less year-on-year, on revenue of 1.640 trillion rubles, down 7%. EBITDA fell 34% in the six months to 538.279 billion rubles.
Net debt rose 31% in the first half to 1.335 trillion rubles, due to an increase in long-term debt and revaluation of debt denominated in foreign currencies.