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Gazprom profit jumps 40% to $2.8 bln

OAO Gazprom Neft, the Russian oil company said profit jumped 40% last year amid high oil prices. The Company value growth is the most vivid indication of Gazprom dynamic development in 2005. Over the reporting period, the price of the Company’s shares has increased more than 2.5-fold, a great deal bigger gain on the stock indexes. As a result, Gazprom has become a strong global energy leader in terms of market capitalization. Net income rose to $2.8 billion from $2 billion the year before, the company said in a statement posted on its Web site today. Revenue rose 64% to $14.6 billion, the Moscow-based company said. Higher operating costs and taxes including export duties trimmed the profit on those sales. Gazprom Neft said its proved reserves dropped to 3.4 billion barrels, or 18% less than the year before. Basic and diluted earnings per common share were up 37% to 59 cents. The results were calculated under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Sibneft was renamed Gazprom Neft after OAO Gazprom, Russia's gas export monopoly, bought the company from billionaire Roman Abramovich for $13.1 billion last year. In 2005 the gas production has grown by 2.8 billion cubic meters. The Gazprom Group of companies produced 547.9 billion cubic meters. Over the five years we have increased our annual gas output by an amount that is comparable to the overall consumption of a country like Argentina. The resource base of Gazprom today includes more than 29 trillion cubic meters of explored natural gas reserves and over 1.2 billion tons of gas condensate. With acquisition of Sibneft our oil reserves have grown to 1.36 billion tons. This is a powerful resource serving as a foundation for Gazprom development strategy (Gazprom.ru, Bloomberg)