MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state oil company Rosneft (ROSN.MM) said first quarter net profit fell less than expected, to 112 billion roubles ($3.81 billion), beating analyst expectations of 88.6 billion roubles.
“Our Q1 results are much better than planned. We exercised prudent cost management and achieved outstanding efficiency given the macroeconomic environment,” Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Our key objectives for this year are to press ahead with our large-scale production and refining projects and optimize our business across the board.”
On a quarterly basis, net profit rose 55.6 percent, the company said. Rosneft’s fourth quarter accounts reflected the purchase of a stake in the Ruhr Oel refining complex in Germany.
The top Russian oil producer, fresh from Arctic exploration deals with ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and Eni (ENI.MI), has been steadily increasing output through ramp-up of new fields but lost tax breaks at the Vankor field, the main driver of output growth.
Its claim to a reduced tax bill expired in August, hitting net profit and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
“A key factor behind the decrease in EBITDA compared to Q1 2011 was the expiration of reduced (mineral extraction tax) rates and export duties for oil produced at the Vankor field,” Rosneft said in a Russian language press release.
EBITDA fell 14.9 percent year on year in rouble terms to 165 billion roubles, or $5.63 billion at an average rouble rate of 29.33 per dollar for the first quarter. Analysts had expected $5.25 billion.
Writing by Melissa Akin; Editing by Vladimir Soldatkin