Lukoil swings back to profit in fourth quarter

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Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, swung back into profit in the fourth quarter of 2016 thanks to higher oil prices.

The Moscow and London-listed company said net income was RUB46.6bn ($787m), against a loss of RUB65bn a year previously, beating analyst expectations of RUB45bn. Revenue over the quarter was RUB1.4tn.

Shares in the company spiked as much as 2.1 per cent on the Moscow market after the results were announced, before retreating slightly to trade 1.4 per cent up on the day.

Oil prices plunged to below $30 a barrel in January last year but recovered over 2016, helped by a deal between OPEC and Russia to curb production. Lukoil said production of crude rose an annual 1.6 per cent in the quarter, while revenues rose 7 per cent.

Many Russian energy companies and other industrials such as miners have benefitted from healthier margins over the past year, as the fall in the ruble helped curb domestic costs while boosting export income.

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