Source AP ©

Lukoil: annual profits rise 16 percent

Russia's OAO Lukoil said Tuesday its net profits rose 16 percent in 2006, citing strong international prices for crude oil, higher refining margins and the effect of cost-cutting measures.

Lukoil's earnings of US$7.48 billion (EUR5.52 billion) came in below a poll of six analysts conducted by Dow Jones Newswires, however, which had forecast US$7.83 billion (EUR5.78 billion).

Total revenue increased 21 percent to US$68.11 billion (EUR50.24 billion) from US$56.22 billion in the previous year.

The company said in a statement that earnings would have been higher were it not for a heavy tax burden and the ruble's strengthening against the dollar: Lukoil said it had paid US$24.4 billion (EUR18 billion) in taxes in the year, up 30.4 percent on the year before.

The company said it pumped an average of 1.9 million barrels of oil per day in 2006, an increase of 5.8 percent.

Lukoil reported its results according to U.S. GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles.

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