Russian gas monopoly Gazprom says its net profit last year nearly doubled compared with 2005. The higher profit at the world’s biggest gas company was because it had put up prices during an unusually cold European winter while it also gained from a first full-year contribution after it bought the Sibneft oil company.
Gazprom’s shares are worth in total 186 billion euros. Its 2006 sales were 62 billion euros, up 56% up on the previous year. Profit – at 18 billion – rose 97%. In terms of the amount of gas sold, that rose by just 7%.
Analysts said it remains to be seen if the company is actually improving or just benefiting from higher commodity prices.
The accounts were signed off by Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller who went into hospital nearly a month ago with a kidney illness and has not represented the company in public since.
Gazprom supplies a quarter of the gas used in Europe and said it expects a record 28.2 billion euros from sales in the region this year.