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MOSCOW, April 26 (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday its earnings fell 25 percent year-on-year in 2017, partly due to higher debt and costs of a legal dispute with Ukraine.
Net profit for the year totalled 714.3 billion roubles ($11.41 billion), the company said, down from 951.6 billion roubles a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the company to post a net profit of 684 billion roubles.
Net debt increased 24 percent year-on-year to 2.4 trillion roubles, Gazprom said, due to currency exchange rates.
The company also booked reserves of more than 198.8 billion roubles, mainly due a legal dispute with Ukrainian state-owned energy firm Naftogaz.
Gazprom has to pay Ukraine $2.56 billion after a Stockholm court found in Naftogaz’s favour in the final stage of a long-running legal battle in February.
This sum is net of mutual claims and counter-claims related to gas supplies and transit. Naftogaz was awarded damages of $4.63 billion, but since the court previously ordered Naftogaz to pay Gazprom for gas supply arrears, the net payment Gazprom will have to make to Ukraine is $2.56 billion.
Revenue totalled 6.5 trillion roubles in 2017, Gazprom said, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 1.47 trillion roubles. ($1 = 62.5978 roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Jack Stubbs; Editing by David Evans)