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Gazprom's profits for the first nine months of last year declined, because of lower prices for the natural gas sold by the firm to Europe.
The price paid for gas delivered by the Russian gas company dropped by 23pc compared with the first nine months of 2001, contributing to a 57pc drop in net profits for the period to Rbs 15.963bn ($475mn).
Sales to Europe increased by 3bn [m.sup.3] to 94bn [m.sup.3], up by 3pc against the same period of last year, mainly thanks to greater volumes sold under existing take-or-pay commitments in Germany and Turkey.
The third quarter of 2002 offered some encouragement for a recovery in profits, as the average gas …