Russia's Novatek Second-Quarter Profit Up 20% on Rising Gas Sales


MOSCOW, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Novatek, Russia's second-biggest gas producer, said on Friday its second-quarter net profit increased 20 percent to 11.6 billion roubles ($353 million) on the back of rising gas sales and prices, beating the average market forecast.

Novatek, in which France's Total holds a 16 percent stake, has been aggressively taking market share in the Russian domestic market from state-controlled Gazprom, by offering cheaper deals to customers such as miners, steelmakers and power-generating firms.

The company, which also has its chief executive Leonid Mikhelson and Gunvor trading house co-owner Gennady Timchenko as major shareholders, said in a statement that its revenue was 58 billion roubles in the April-June period of 2013, up from 44.9 billion roubles in the same period last year.

A poll of analysts showed an average forecast of 11.1 billion roubles for second-quarter net profit and revenue of 57.7 billion roubles.

Novatek's second-quarter gas production edged up 2.6 percent to 12.78 billion cubic metres.

As of 1235 GMT, the company's Moscow-traded shares had risen by 1.8 percent, outperforming a 0.6 percent increase in the broader market.

($1 = 32.9037 Russian roubles)

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Megan Davies and Pravin Char)


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