Rosneft 2007 Profit Triples, Debt Drops

Rosneft said Tuesday that its profit more than tripled in 2007, beating analysts' expectations, while net debt fell due to strong cash generation.

Rosneft was considering ways to refinance its outstanding debt and might partly use its strong cash flows to repay it, chief financial officer Peter O'Brien said in an interview.

Rosneft said net profit by generally accepted accounting principles more than tripled to $12.86 billion in 2007, while sales rose nearly 50 percent to $49.25 billion, up from $33.1 billion in 2006. It attributed the rise to acquisitions, strong global energy prices, rising production and refining volumes as well as tight cost control despite heavy ruble appreciation.

Rosneft, which last year became one of the country's most indebted firms following heavy borrowing to buy assets of former rival Yukos, said its net debt fell to $23.8 billion on March 31 from $26.3 billion on Dec. 31 2007, down from $27.8 billion on Sept. 30.