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MOSCOW: Russian energy giant Gazprom said Friday its earnings had recovered in the first quarter after last year’s fall in demand and prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The group reported a net profit of 447.26 billion rubles ($6.1 billion) in the first three months of the year, compared to 135 billion rubles for all of 2020.

Its sales between January and March were up more than 30 percent year-on-year at 2.29 trillion rubles.

The global energy sector was hit hard by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, with demand hammered as many countries shut down swathes of their economies in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Gas exports to Europe, from which Gazprom derives the bulk of its profits, were up more than 25 percent in the first quarter, with average prices in rubles also increasing by more than a third year-on-year.

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