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    Norilsk Nickel's RAS net profit plunges nearly 95% in 1H08

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    MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's metals giant Norilsk Nickel said Wednesday its net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards dropped almost 95%, year-on-year, in the first half of 2008 to 4.1 billion rubles ($175.7 million).

    The company said its net profit in the second quarter of the year was 25.93 billion rubles ($1.1 billion), compared with a net loss of 21.83 billion rubles ($935.7 million) in January-March. The first-quarter loss was due to write-downs of the company's investments.

    In the first half of 2007 the company made a profit of 77.95 billion rubles.

    Norilsk Nickel accounts for more than 20% of global nickel output, more than 10% of cobalt production and 3% of copper.

    The company's share on the Russian nickel market stands at around 96%. It accounts for 55% of domestic copper production and produces 95% of Russia's cobalt.

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