October 30, 2012 / 10:11 AM / in 5 years

Russia's TNK-BP profit up 53 percent on lower taxes

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s third-largest oil producer TNK-BP TNBP.MM, soon to be acquired by Rosneft (ROSN.MM), said quarterly net profit jumped 53 percent thanks to lower taxes and costs.

The company, half-owned by BP (BP.L) and a consortium of Soviet-born billionaires (AAR), said export taxes were $500 million less than last year’s amount.

Rosneft, Russia’s top crude producer, is acquiring TNK-BP for $55 billion in what would be the largest acquisition deal in Russian corporate history.

BP formed the 50:50 joint venture with AAR nearly a decade ago to tap into the country’s vast energy reserves.

Jonathan Muir, TNK-BP’s chief financial officer told a news conference that TNK-BP’s directors were not able to reach a majority decision on an interim 2012 dividend.

“I suspect that negotiations are ongoing and no decision has been made (by the directors),” he said.

    TNK-BP’s Moscow-traded shares were down 1.35 percent, underperforming the broader index , which shed 0.42 percent.

    Last year TNK-BP paid dividends totaling $7.5 billion, split equally between BP and the Russian partners, and in the nine years since BP formed the joint venture it has reaped $19 billion in dividends, nearly triple its original investment.

    TNK-BP International - the main unit of TNK-BP - earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 25 percent in the third quarter to $4.3 billion from $3.5 billion in the year-ago period as revenues nudged up 3 percent to $15.7 billion.

    Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Louise Heavens

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