September was the most profitable month of the year for Russian companies with earnings for the month coming in at RUB1,580bn ($23.7bn) — the best result in the last three years, according to Rosstat data.
The cumulative profits for the year to date were RUB10,151.7bn, against the RUB7,385.8bn earned in September 2017 and RUB8,099.4bn earned in 2016.
Companies have been struggling to grow in the lacklustre economy and depressed growth of real incomes in Russia this year. However, the pickup in corporate profits is reflected in the improved manufacturing results in the last two months and it seems that economic activity has built up a little momentum as the summer comes to an end.
Russia’s corporate sector net profit was down 8.5% in 2017 y/y, according to Rosstat. The trend runs counter to GDP growth, which was up 1.5% last year after contracting by 0.2% in 2016. This year the Russian economy is also expected to put in about 1.6% of growth.
In nominal terms, net profit reached RUB10.3 trillion ($180bn) in 2017, but cumulative profits for this year have already passed that figure in October. Some 34.800 organisations brought in profits of RUB12.3 trillion, while another 12,400 made losses of RUB1.96 trillion in 2017. This data does not include small businesses, insurance companies, state institutions, or banks.
On a sectorial level, extractive industries led the pack, with net profit up 17.9%, and a staggering 40% for hydrocarbons. Agriculture, meanwhile, saw a worse performance despite overall sector growth, with net profit down 22.3% largely due to decreasing grain prices.