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Gushing prices help Russia's Lukoil to record operating profit

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Moscow (AFP)

Russia's largest private oil company Lukoil said Wednesday it earned a record operating profit last year as the price of crude oil recovered.

Operating profit as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose by 13.8 percent to hit 831.6 million rubles (11.8 billion euros, $14.5 billion).

Net profit, meanwhile, doubled to 418.8 billion rubles.

Sales rose by 13.6 percent to 5.9 trillion rubles.

"The positive sales dynamics was mainly driven by the higher hydrocarbon prices and trading volumes in both periods," said Lukoil.

Crude prices tumbled to under $30 per barrel at the beginning of 2016 before OPEC, Russia and a handful of other producers agreed to restrain production at the end of the year.

Oil prices gradually recovered, with prices holding above $60 per barrel since the end of last year.

However, crude output slid 5.0 percent last year, which Lukoil said was in line with the pact between OPEC and Russia to clear out the glut on the market that was keeping prices low.

Lukoil is Russia's second-largest oil company after state-controlled Rosneft.

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