Oil production, including producing joint ventures and companies with LUKOIL participation, totaled 15 million tonnes in the first three months of this year, 4.6% up on the same period of last year. Gas output came to 825 million cubic meters, and drilling to 421,500 meters.
Refining throughput at LUKOIL own refineries amounted to 4.8 million tonnes and third parties processed 1 million tonnes for LUKOIL.
Oil exports stabilized at 3.8 million tonnes and petroleum products exports continued to steadily rise. "We want to raise the amount of petroleum products exports and improve their quality," LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov said at LUKOIL's annual shareholder meeting June 5. LUKOIL exported 1.4 million tonnes of oil products in the first three months, 52.7% up from last year's period.
Net revenues of LUKOIL and its subsidiaries totaled 12.566 trillion rubles (around $2.26 billion), 8.4% more than last year.
Slower growth of production and sales costs (7.9%) caused profits on core business to rise more rapidly, by 16.7% to 1.192 trillion rubles. Falling losses from other activities and nonsales business ensured a rise in income before tax of 36% or 1.084 trillion rubles in current prices.
Net income rose 11.5% to 757 billion rubles, compared with 679 billion rubles in the same period of last year. The limited growth of net income is a result of declining dynamics of the domestic oil price, repayment of debts to the federal budget and changes in income taxation.
LUKOIL Group's assets totaled 72.059 trillion rubles as of March 31, 1997, up 11.6%. Its current assets rose to 23.453 trillion rubles, or 32.5% of total assets. Its equity capital reached 51.214 trillion rubles, but its share in the total value of property dropped from 78% to 71%.
Current assets as a percentage of liabilities rose to 119% compared with 113% last year. Intermediate liquidity ratio rose from 95% to 105%. Current assets exceeded short-term liabilities by 3.753 trillion rubles, or 211% compared to the first quarter of last year.
Total accounts receivable rose, but some items of current liabilities such as wages, taxes and social insurance fell 10%-25% in nominal terms.
LUKOIL's shares in the first quarter rose in price 50% to their highest since they were issued, and their high liquidity was preserved. LUKOIL's market capitalization is over 55 trillion rubles ($10 billion).
LUKOIL's first quarter results give reason to view 1997 as another stage in the successful realization of its long-term strategy. The rise in output and sales in the subsequent quarters and the reorganization of the company's management structure will allow it to maintain and strengthen the potential it has achieved and provide favorable financial results and a stable basis for future development.
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