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Gazprom's RAS net profit up 4.9% to $15 bln in 2007

MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom's net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) increased 4.9%, year-on-year, to 360.5 billion rubles ($15 billion) in 2007, the Russian gas monopoly said in a statement on Tuesday.

Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said the increase in its net profit in the fourth quarter of 2007 against last year's third quarter followed a seasonal rise in natural gas exports and sales on the domestic market.

Khalil Shekhmametyev, chief analyst at the Otkritie financial corporation, warned against expectations that the news would cause excitement on the Russian stock market, primarily because the report concerned the head company, with no data currently available on its subsidiaries.

Oleg Maksimov, chief analyst at the Troika Dialog investment company, also called Gazprom's RAS net profit report "uninteresting." He said a report on the company's net profit calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) would be much more valuable but that this would be published only after the company has produced a financial report in the first quarter of 2008.

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