Gazprom third quarter profits up on joint ventures and currencies

Russian state-run energy company Gazprom posted a forecast-beating 33 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit, thanks to successful investments in jointly controlled entities and a foreign exchange gain.

Gazprom’s shares closed up 1.8 per cent at 189.85 roubles (£3.93) on Moscow’s MICEX, bucking a downward trend on the broader market, where the oil and gas index lost 0.4 per cent.

Net profit reached 174.6bn roubles, Gazprom said yesterday, exceeding a 158.8bn roubles market forecast. .

The increase was mainly due to the company’s investments in jointly owned projects, oil and gas analyst Svetlana Grizan at brokerage VTB Capital said.

The company’s share of net income of associated undertakings and jointly controlled entities totalled 27.25bn roubles in the quarter, she said.

Analysts said net profit also rose because the figure in the third quarter of 2008 was hit by a downward revision in the value of its option to buy a 20 per cent stake in its oil arm, Gazprom Neft from Italy’s Eni.