MOSCOW, May 23 (Reuters) – Gazprom’s net profit fell more than 40% to 1.226 trillion roubles ($15.77 billion) last year due to a tax hike in the second half of the year, the Russian energy giant said on Tuesday, adding it would not pay a full-year dividend.
The West last year introduced a raft of sanctions against Russia and state companies over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Gazprom’s gas exports, a key source of revenue, have not been directly sanctioned, but export volumes almost halved last year to 101 billion cubic metres.
Gazprom’s shares fell around 4% after the Kremlin-controlled firm said its board had decided not to pay a full-year dividend after allocating a half-year dividend of 1.2 trillion roubles ($15 billion).
“We consider the presented results as weak. Apart from this, the board has not announced a dividend for the second half of 2022,” Sinara Investbank wrote.
“The news is quite disappointing from the point of view of Gazprom’s investment attractiveness,” it said, adding that it recommends selling the company’s shares.
Famil Sadygov, Gazprom’s deputy CEO, said since the six-month dividend payment had already exceeded the target level of 50% of net profit, it was decided to leave the full-year dividend on a par with the preliminary payment.
“We did not wait for the results of the year, but gave the shareholders the opportunity to receive such a significant amount in advance. Due to this, the received dividend has a higher real value than the payment of the same amount at the end of the year,” he said.
Sadygov also said that core profit, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, reached 3.6 trillion roubles last year, on a par with 2021. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Sharon Singleton)