Russia Novatek Q1 profit up 13.2 pct y/y, beats forecast
MOSCOW May 11 (Reuters) - Novatek, Russia's top non-state gas producer, said on Friday its first quarter net profit attributable to shareholders rose 13.2 percent to 21.25 billion roubles ($704.93 million), beating market expectations.
Novatek said in a statement after the stock market closing that its revenue was 54.37 billion roubles in the first three months of 2012 versus 44.9 billion roubles for the same period last year.
A poll of analysts showed an average forecast of 18.88 billion roubles in first quarter net profit and revenues of 44.86 billion roubles.
Novatek, which has ambitious plans to increase its output despite Gazprom's monopoly on exports, produced 14.66 billion cubic metres of gas in the first quarter of 2012, up from 13.43 bcm in the first quarter of last year, an increase of 9 percent.
It is aiming to more than double annual gas production to 12.5 bcm in 2020 through the launch of half a dozen or more new fields, including a source of gas for Yamal LNG, a project to build Russia's second liquefied natural gas plant in partnership with Total.
Total is also a shareholder in Novatek, as is Russia's gas export monopoly, Gazprom. ($1 = 30.1450 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Melissa Akin; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel)
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