Russian oil giant Rosneft on Monday said its net profit fell by 22 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, a stronger result than expected as the weak ruble partly offset falling oil prices.
The company reported second-quarter profits of 134 billion rubles ($1.99 billion), after analysts interviewed by Interfax news agency had predicted profits of 92 billion rubles ($1.4 billion).
Rosneft's earnings were below expectations, however, at 1.312 trillion rubles ($19.5 billion).
Russia's oil and gas sector has been hit by a 50-percent drop in oil prices since last year, but at the same time the ruble has lost the same amount of value, hiking ruble earnings for oil and gas sold in dollars.
Rosneft president Igor Sechin was quoted as saying in a company statement that the first half of 2015 "was characterized by high fluctuation of oil price and exchange rate, increased transportation tariffs and tax burden, as well as high interest expenses due to change in the interest base rate."
"In these conditions the Company concentrated its efforts on maintaining the current production capacity while continuing a programme of optimisation of operational, administrative costs and capital expenses, and also on prioritising financing of new projects' development," Sechin said.
Rosneft said it was producing an average of 5.1 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day in the second quarter year-on-year, a figure down 1.0 percent from the first quarter of 2015.