Russia’s Lukoil doubles quarterly profit

LUKOIL, Russia’s number two crude oil producer, yesterday said first-quarter net profit more than doubled, beating analysts’ forecasts, due to rising oil prices.

Lukoil, in which US rival ConocoPhillips decided to sell half of its 20 per cent equity stake, said first-quarter net profit, attributable to shareholders, jumped to $2.05bn against a forecast of $1.84bn.

But earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were less than Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, which enjoys tax breaks in Eastern Siberia and has launched a huge oil field in the Arctics.

Svetlana Grizan, analyst at VTB Capital, said Lukoil,whose earnings rose 55 per cent to $3.73bn (£2.5bn) against a $3.41bn forecast, also faces production decline at its mature fields in West Siberia. “Rosneft’s EBITDA in the first quarter stood higher, at $4.4bn, and it has been eclipsing Lukoil during last quarters. Besides, the company, unlike Lukoil, enjoys wider tax holidays,” Grizan said.