Gazprom has reported its first quarterly loss in more than four years as the coronavirus pandemic slashes gas demand and prices.
A 30 per cent fall in the value of the rouble during the first quarter of 2020 sparked by the oil price collapse compounded a slide in both shipments and prices for the Russian state gas group that is expected to continue throughout the year.
The $1.64bn loss underscores the deep fiscal pain that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on Russia, which is reeling from both an economic recession caused by a domestic lockdown and a global slowdown and a significant reduction in government tax revenues from lower oil, gas and other commodity sales.
“The external conditions in which Gazprom and the industry as a whole operates in 2020 are assessed by market analysts as extremely unfavourable,” said Famil Sadygov, deputy chairman. The loss is the first since the third quarter of 2015.
“Under these conditions, the financial results that the company showed in the first quarter can be considered, to put it mildly, not bad,” he said, adding that the company would have reported an estimated profit of Rbs288bn without the forex impact and would use that figure to calculate future dividends.
Source: Financial Times