KYIV, Oct 4 – Ukraine’s Naftogaz reported a 21% increase in net profit in the first half of the year to 23.3 billion hryvnias ($870 million), Reuters reported Wednesday citing the state-run energy company.
"The main factors that contributed to the higher net result are the government's policy of linking the regulated gas price for households to import parity prices and the increased volumes of gas transit across Ukraine," the company said in a statement.
A reform to bring Naftogaz's prices in line with the market helped it make a profit in 2016 for the first time in five years.
But the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has propped up Ukraine with a $17.5 billion bailout, have repeatedly urged authorities to speed up their promised drive modernize the economy.
Last week Naftogaz said the remaining members of its independent supervisory board had tendered their resignation in protest at what it called government obstruction of efforts to reform the company.
Their departure is part of an exodus of reformers who have given up posts in the government or state institutions in frustration at what they saw as the slow pace of change following the 2013-2014 pro-European Maidan uprising.
In April, the EBRD, whose loans help Naftogaz buy gas from Europe in winter, warned that the resignation of the independent board would threaten progress made towards modernizing the company and undermine investor confidence. He said that the new members of the supervisory board should be elected quickly, as reforms must continue
Last month the EBRD has urged Ukrainian authorities to quickly restore the operation of the supervisory board of Naftogaz.
The EBRD was disappointed with the resignation of the supervisory board members, according to EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Francis Malige.
The supervisory board consisting of British citizens Marcus Richards, Charles Proctor and Paul Warwick was created in May 2016.
First Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Yulia Kovaliv was a member appointed by the government and former energy and coal industry minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn was appointed by the Presidential Administration.
Kovaliv resigned on April 17, 2017.
Proctor also decided to resign in the middle of August 2017. His powers will be terminated from September 30.
Richards and Warwick resigned September 19. (rt/nr/ez)