GAZPROM ROSE 13%
Russian state gas giant OAO Gazprom said second-quarter profit rose 13% on higher sales and prices which offset provisions for non-payment by Ukraine's Naftogaz.
Russia and Ukraine are locked in a dispute over prices and payments, with Gazprom saying it is owed some $5 billion for gas it has already supplied Ukraine's national gas company.
Gazprom, which reports quarterly results later than other listed companies, said on Tuesday that profit for the second quarter grew to 227.6 billion rubles ($5.63 billion). Revenue rose 19% to 1.32 trillion rubles.
Profit for the first half of the year slipped 23% to 450.6 billion rubles, the company said.
The company said it had accrued provisions of 215.8 billion rubles in the first six months of the year owing to "doubtful trade accounts receivable"--a reference to a late or no payment for gas deliveries--from Naftogaz.
Still, Gazprom's first-half revenue rose by 7% to 1.59 trillion rubles, as foreign volumes and prices rose. Volumes sold to its most-lucrative European market grew slightly to 86.0 billion cubic meters (bcm)
Gazprom sold only 125.4 bcm in Russia, down from 133.6 bcm last year, though revenue grew owing to a higher price.
Gazprom shares were up 0.5% in Moscow mid-morning, lagging the market's broader gains as investors waited for management to say more about the company's capital spending plans and progress on a new gas contract with China. Management is scheduled to brief investment analysts later Tuesday.
Russia agreed a long-awaited supply deal with China earlier this year, but Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that another supply deal using a second route would be agreed no earlier than 2015, rather than this year.
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