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Rosneft profit quadruples as oil prices rise

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Moscow (AFP)

Russian oil giant Rosneft announced Tuesday its net profit almost quadrupled in the first half of the year thanks to rising oil prices and said it wants to focus on organic growth.

Between January and June, the state-controlled group reported a net profit of 309 billion rubles (around 4.2 billion euros, $4.9 at current exchange rates).

Operating profit rose by nearly 50 percent to 950 billion rubles, as revenue rose by 35 percent to 3.8 billion.

Rosneft's chairman Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the rosy results were due to a "significant improvement in macro conditions" where the global economy continues to grow even as oil prices have risen considerably since the start of the year, as well as "efforts to improve the efficiency of the company".

After starting the year at just over $66.50 per barrel, the price of the main international crude has risen to fluctuate around $75 per barrel in recent weeks on worries about supplies as the United States moves to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

The average price for Urals crude in the first six months was up by 35 percent compared to the same period last year, according the company.

"The key strategic acquisitions made in the period of low oil prices have been completed. The company focuses on organic growth and monetisation of synergies from the acquisitions," Sechin said in a statement.

Targeted by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Rosneft recently announced measures to support to support its share price, which has been undervalued compared to its output and reserves.

On Monday, the company said its board approved a share buyback programme of up to $2 billion.

The group's average output in the second quarter of this year amounted to a stable 5.7 million barrels of oil per day.

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