The Gazprom's Financial and Economic Policy Press Conference was held at the Company's headquarters on June 29, 2016, in the lead-up to the annual General Shareholders Meeting. The Press Conference featured Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Andrey Kruglov and Deputy Chairwoman and Chief Accountant Elena Vasilieva, Department Heads Karen Oganyan and Vitaly Khatkov, First Deputy Department Head Igor Shatalov, and Deputy Chief Accountant Mikhail Rosseev.
It was noted at the Press Conference that in 2015 Gazprom had been among the world's top three public oil and gas companies in terms of key financial indicators, such as EBITDA (RUB 1.875 trillion) and net profit (RUB 787 billion).
Last year, the Company generated positive free cash flow for the tenth successive year. The 2015 cash flow totaled RUB 390 billion, which was among the best financial results demonstrated by the world's public oil and gas companies.
Gazprom continues to maintain its debt load at a comfortable level. In 2015, the net debt to EBITDA ratio stood at 0.9 in dollar terms, one of the lowest ratios among global integrated oil and gas companies.
Gazprom's financial sustainability has been underpinned by a conservative financial strategy with a number of priority areas.
Specifically, the Company takes a conservative approach to budgeting, with thorough analysis of the investment program, rigorous selection of investment projects, and ranking thereof in order of priority. Over the past ten years, Gazprom has adhered to the principle of self-financing, ensuring that its capital investments are fully financed by the operating cash flow. The Company exercises tight control over its expenses at every stage of budget preparation and execution. Furthermore, particular attention is paid to currency risk optimization and efficient debt management.
In the current market conditions, Gazprom's financial results are significantly aided by the dominating foreign currency component in its earnings and the domestic currency component in its operational and capital expenditures, as well as by low production costs.
An emphasis was placed on Gazprom's performance in the international financial markets. It was noted that the Company could still borrow on favorable terms. In 2015, Gazprom conducted a number of transactions for attracting external financing. Last October, the Company placed a successful Eurobond issue, the largest among Russian issuers, amounting to EUR 1 billion.
The Asia-Pacific region has taken an increasingly prominent role in the sphere of financing. In 2015, Gazprom took out a long-term loan of USD 1.5 billion from a Chinese consortium of banks. In the March of 2016, Gazprom and Bank of China Limited, London Branch, entered into a EUR 2 billion loan facility agreement.
The Press Conference also touched upon other issues related to Gazprom's current and future financial and economic performance.