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Lukoil posts 8 pct increase in Q1 net to $3.8Bln

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Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer, said Monday that its first-quarter net profit increased by nearly 8 percent, to $3.8 billion on higher oil prices.

The profit rose from $3.5 billion in January-March 2011 to $3.8 billion in the first three months this year, Lukoil said in a statement, beating analyst forecasts. Lukoil also said that the net income was supported by a drop in income tax due to a weaker ruble.

The company's sales went up 19 percent, from $29.6 billion to $35.3 billion in the first quarter of the year. Strong revenues were boosted by sales of refined products (up 28 percent)...