MOSCOW Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) posted a 5 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday as higher exports and lower rebates to customers helped it top forecasts.
Gazprom said its January-March net profit attributable to shareholders rose to 381 billion roubles ($11.4 billion) from 361 billion a year earlier. The result topped the 378 billion roubles projected by analysts polled by Reuters.
The company has agreed to revise long-term gas supply contracts with customers in Europe, where it generates around 55 percent of its revenues, making "retroactive payments" to avoid losing business.
It has reserved 200 billion roubles for rebates this year.
But it said lower-than-expected payments in the first quarter enabled it to write back some of those provisions, converting them into sales of 73.4 billion roubles "reflecting a decrease in a previously accrued liability".
Gazprom's shares were up 1 percent in early trade, in line with the broader Moscow market .
The company said export sales rose by 11 percent to 428 billion roubles.
Total sales increased to 1.5 trillion roubles from 1.2 trillion, topping the 1.43 trillion forecast by analysts.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Douglas Busvine and Jason Neely)