Rosneft sees seven-fold increase in Q1 profits

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Moscow (AFP)

Russian oil giant Rosneft Monday announced a seven-fold increase in net profits in the first quarter of the year, with revenues driven by rising oil prices.

Targeted by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Rosneft recorded a net profit of 81 billion rubles (1.1 billion euros, $1.3 billion) in the first three months of 2018, up from 11 billion rubles in 2017.

Turnover jumped by 22 percent to 1.72 billion rubles "on the back of higher crude oil prices and optimisation in sales channels despite the remaining constraints in production within the OPEC+ agreement," Rosneft said in a statement.

The OPEC cartel and Russia agreed in Vienna in 2016 to cut production in order to push prices up following a global glut that had sent prices crashing.

Oil prices have since staged a remarkable recovery, floating comfortably around the $70 per barrel mark on the main benchmarks.

On its website, Rosneft said its production had gone down 1.3 percent year-on-year to the equivalent of 5.71 million barrels of oil a day.

Rosneft's chairman Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, welcomed the results in a statement.

"The company demonstrated significant improvement in the first quarter of 2018," Sechin said.

"Taking into account additional initiatives focused on shareholder value creation and also relatively favourable market conditions we expect further reduction in liabilities and improvement in the shareholder returns," the statement added.