MOSCOW, April 30 (UPI) -- Profits for 2012 were down nearly 10 percent because of lower demand from European natural gas consumers and higher expenses, Russia's Gazprom reported.
Full-year results reported Tuesday by Gazprom revealed income for 2012 fell to $38 billion, 9.5 percent lower than the previous year. Gazprom last reported a loss in 2001, Bloomberg News reports.
The company reported the natural gas sales to European consumers were down 3.6 percent in 2012 year-on-year. Gas sales to former Soviet republics were down more than 19 percent, while domestic gas sales were down by nearly 6 percent.
Domestic gas sales make up the majority of Gazprom's market activity. The company supplies European consumers with about 25 percent of their natural gas needs. The bulk of that gas heads through Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine. Pricing disputes between Ukraine and Gazprom have exposed vulnerabilities in the regional gas market, prompting Europe to look for alternative suppliers.
Gazprom has recently focused on Asian markets, where demand is increasing.