Transneft oil pipe operator posts 23% drop in 1H07 net profit

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MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft [RTS: TRNF] said Wednesday its net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards declined 23.1% year-on-year in the first half of 2007 to 1.99 billion rubles ($78 million).

The company's pre-tax profit in the reporting period declined 16.7% to 2.71 billion rubles (about $106 million) and gross profit was down 26% to 3.36 billion rubles (about $131.8 million), Transneft said.

The company attributed its gross profit drop to faster growth in expenditure, including larger spending on the production services of its subsidiaries under oil transportation contracts.

Transneft, the world's largest oil pipeline company, in which the Russian government holds a 75% stake, earlier said the value of its assets increased 16.7% in April-June 2007 quarter-on-quarter to 194.7 billion rubles (about $7.6 billion).

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