Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Gazprom profits down on higher cost of buying gas

A gas pressure gauge in the Russian village of Boyarka (file photo)
Gazprom is Russia's largest company

Energy giant Gazprom has reported a 34% drop in profit after the firm continued to be affected by the higher cost of buying gas.

The company reported a net profit of 479bn roubles ($15.8bn; £9.9bn) for the first nine months of 2009, down from a 752bn-rouble profit the previous year.

Operating expenses rose by 16%, mainly because of the increased cost of buying gas from Central Asia.

Gazprom said it sold less gas to all the geographical regions it serves.

Total volumes of gas sold fell by 17%. That included a drop by volume of 11% in Russia, 50% in other former Soviet republics and 11% in Europe and other countries.

However, the value of the total sales fell by only 2% to 1,547bn roubles after the firm increased its prices.

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