The state-controlled Russian gas company Gazprom drew attention to itself with two reports on Tuesday. They reached the public at almost the same time – and fit in perfectly with the company policy of the past few months.
Gazprom made record profits in the first half of the year, the company said, despite Western sanctions over the Ukraine war. The group has significantly reduced its deliveries to Europe, but at the same time has benefited from the increased prices. The bottom line was a result of 2.5 trillion rubles (equivalent to 41.63 billion euros), as the company announced on Tuesday. In addition, Gazprom now wants to pay an interim dividend. Gazprom had also made record profits in the previous year.
The second Gazprom report came just a little later: As of Thursday, the group will completely stop supplying gas to the Engie Group in France. The reason for this is outstanding payments for deliveries that have already been made in July, the company said on Tuesday evening in the online service Telegram. Engie initially declined to comment. Earlier, Engie announced that Gazprom had informed the company that deliveries would be cut with immediate effect.
The reason is a “disagreement about the application of contracts”. Gazprom had already sharply reduced its supplies to Engie since the start of the Ukraine war. The French group said it was taking steps to offset cuts in supplies from Russia. The supply of customers with gas is guaranteed.
In May, Gazprom had cashed in on its plans to pay a record dividend based on 2021 results, failing to serve shareholders for the first time since 1998. Originally, shareholders were to receive 52.53 rubles per share for the past year. That would have been the highest payout in the company’s history. Gazprom plans to pay 51.03 rubles per share for the first half of the year. Shareholders still have to approve the proposal on September 30.
In 2021, Gazprom made a record profit of 2.09 trillion rubles (about 27.5 billion euros) thanks to sharply increased oil and gas prices. Gazprom has restricted or even stopped gas supplies to several EU countries following sanctions. The group has also reduced deliveries to Germany.