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Rosneft third-quarter profit plunges 77 percent

The state-controlled company, which has up to now maintained comfortable profits despite the fall in oil prices, said that between July and September it made a net profit of 26 billion rubles ($396 million, 366 million euros), 77 percent less than in the same period last year.

The figure was almost half of that predicted by analysts interviewed by Interfax news agency.

Revenue was slightly above expectations despite being down 5 percent at 1.2 trillion rubles ($18.7 billion at the current exchange rate) due to a fall in ruble prices partly compensated for by growth in production to 5.2 million barrels per day.

The company’s head Igor Sechin was quoted as saying in a statement that “the environment on the commodity markets remained difficult” in the third quarter.

Sechin said that the company’s profitability also suffered from the “significant effect” of a time lag on export duties.

Rosneft said it suffered indirectly from a rebound in oil prices in the second quarter which led to higher tariffs being applied in the third quarter.

With the company chief Sechin a powerful ally of President Vladimir Putin, the company in October faced down opposition from some in the government and bought a majority stake in Bashneft oil producer which had been held by the state.

Sechin in Friday’s statement said of the Bashneft acquisition that Rosneft would make its “best efforts to maximise the synergy potential from this asset integration.”