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BUCHAREST, May 14 (Reuters) - Romania's state-controlled gas producer Romgaz net profit jumped 83 percent on the year in the first quarter to 608.4 million lei ($187.98 million) helped by higher gas prices on the regulated market, it said on Wednesay.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a net profit of 515.5 million lei at the end of March. The company said its revenues from underground gas storage services rose by 56 percent year-on-year as energy regulators hiked storage tariffs.
The government approved energy markets deregulation two years ago under an aid deal with the IMF and the European Commission. The process will be running in stages for industry and households and should end in 2018 for gas.
Romgaz, listed on the Bucharest bourse and in London, has a market capitalisation of around $4.0 billion. It is the country's largest underground gas storage operator and its businesses include gas exploration and electricity production. ($1 = 3.2365 Romanian lei) (Reporting by Radu Marinas)