Gazprom net income slips by 7% in 2013

Russian gas giant Gazprom on Tuesday posted a 7-percent decline in its net profit in 2013, despite a growth in sales of natural gas to its main market Europe, the company said Tuesday.

The company's net income of 1.139 trillion rubles ($31.6 billion, 23 billion euros) was slightly less than expected by Alfa Bank analysts.

Total sales grew by 10 percent to 5.250 trillion rubles ($145.8 billion, 105 billion euros), bolstered by an increase in sales of natural gas to Europe.

Sales to the former Soviet states, of which Ukraine is the biggest market, have fallen by 20 percent to 420.3 billion rubles.

Net profit has dropped for the second year in a row after a 10-percent decline in 2012 which had robbed the Russian energy behemoth of the status of the world's most profitable company.

gm-ma/as/hmn