Russia's Novatek Says Weaker Rouble Slashes 2014 Profit


MOSCOW, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Russia's second-largest natural gas producer Novatek said on Friday its 2014 net income more than halved due to a weaker rouble, which inflated its foreign currency debt payments.

Novatek, where French energy giant Total owns an 18 percent stake, said net profit fell almost 56 percent to 35.2 billion roubles ($575.6 million) last year.

This beats some analysts' expectations. Alfa bank, for example, projected a deeper fall, to 30 billion roubles.

Russian energy companies have been hit by a fall in the rouble, which depreciated by 72 percent against the dollar in 2014. Weaker oil prices also contributed to a fall in profitability.

The company said its 2014 revenues rose by 20 percent to 357.6 billion roubles thanks to increase in sales of oil and gas.

Novatek's shares were flat, underperforming broader Moscow stock market, which was up 0.1 percent.

($1 = 61.1500 roubles)

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by William Hardy)


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