Gazprom First-Half Net up 50 Pct, Boosted by Weaker Rouble

MOSCOW, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom said on Monday its net profit rose 50 percent year-on-year to 675.9 billion roubles ($10.5 billion) in the first half of 2015, thanks to increased sales and a weaker rouble.

Revenue for January through June edged up 1.4 percent to 2.9 trillion roubles, the company said, noting: "The increase in sales is mainly driven by an increase in gas sales to Europe and other countries."

Gazprom's revenue has increased on the back of a falling rouble, while sales volume declined amid sluggish demand. Supplies to Europe and other countries fell 6.5 percent to 80.4 billion cubic metres in the first six months of the year.

The company is facing stiff competition at home from other gas producers such as Rosneft and Novatek, while its production is set to hit a new all-time low this year.

Gazprom also said its second-quarter earnings rose 29 percent to 293.79 billion roubles, beating an average forecast of 260.6 billion from analysts polled by Reuters.

The company, restricted from borrowing by Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, said it raised a $1.5 billion five-year loan from a bank consortium at Libor plus 3.5 percent.

($1 = 64.4710 roubles)

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Jack Stubbs and David Holmes)

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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