EARNINGS POLL-Gazprom 2007 profit seen flat at $25 bln

Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:24pm BST

Quotes

   

* Gazprom 2007 IFRS results

* Expected on or after Friday, June 27

* Net profit seen at 635.6 billion roubles ($24.88 billion

as calculated by last year's rate)

MOSCOW, June 25 (Reuters) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) is expected to report near-flat profit and a 10 percent rise in revenue in 2007 later this week or next week, a Reuters poll of ten analysts showed on Wednesday.

Net profit at the world's largest gas firm, which supplies Europe with a quarter of its gas needs, is seen at 635.6 billion roubles, a notch up from 2006, which stood at 634 billion.

"Costs... are difficult to forecast as Gazprom makes customary year-end adjustments which can be in either direction," Troika Dialog said in a research note, adding that external transit costs shot up in the fourth quarter.

Sales, however, are expected to rise 9.9 percent to 2.4 trillion roubles ($101.6 billion) on the back of increased deliveries to Europe.

"The reason is not so much higher purchases, but the draining of stored reserves that had piled up in the first nine months of last year during unusually weak demand," Troika Dialog said, adding that high numbers will spill over into the first quarter of this year.

Growing demand for fuel means European deliveries will continue to rise throughout this year and last week Gazprom said its export revenues to Europe would soar by 62 percent to $64 billion compared to 2007.

Gazprom is expected to report its results, calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on or after the firm's annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday June 27.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is seen hitting 979 billion roubles, up from around 954 billion the year before, and is expected to keep rising on the back of sustained record high oil prices.

"Similar to oil companies, Gazprom's EBITDA rises some 7 percent for each $5 increase in oil price assumptions for a given period," Alfa Bank said in a research note. The bank predicts EBITDA in 2008 to rise to $62.5 billion, up from $39.1 billion this year.

Gazprom produced 548.6 bcm of gas last year, down 1.3 percent year-on-year, and owns Russia's fifth-largest oil firm, Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM).

It will decide who will be its new chairman at its AGM on Friday.

Dmitry Medvedev recently stepped down as chairman when he took up his new role as Russian President. It is widely expected that the current first deputy prime minister, Viktor Zubkov, will be elected in his place.

Following is a table showing forecasts in billions of roubles by ten analysts.

Revenue EBITDA Net profit Troika Dialog 2,378 979 642 *Dresdner Kleinwort 2,269 965 675 UniCredit Aton 2,305 903 592 Deutsche Bank 2,377 953 611 Goldman Sachs 2,394 994 602 *BCS 2,433 1,007 641 Alfa Bank 2,459 1,043 661 Solid 2,361 999 631 *Sobinbank 2,304 948 648 UBS 2,403 998 653 Average 2,368 979 636

*These banks gave forecasts in dollars, which were calculated into roubles using the Russian central bank's average rate for 2007, which was 25.55 roubles per dollar.

In 2006, the average rouble/dollar rate was 27.14.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman)