UPDATE 1-Argentine YPF first-quarter profit beats estimates
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BUENOS AIRES May 8 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company, YPF, reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday thanks to higher production, price increases and a sharp devaluation in the local peso currency.
YPF, which was nationalized in 2012, posted profit of 2.787 billion pesos ($348.3 mln) on Thursday, up 129 percent from a year ago and well above the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 2.44 billion pesos.
The company said production of hydrocarbons rose 10.7 percent in the quarter to 529,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day, crude output increased 6.8 percent and natural gas production gained 18.5 percent.
The devaluation of the peso in January also boosted revenue in pesos from energy exports in dollars.
Argentina's energy industry has seen a decline in recent years in oil and gas production and the country's hydrocarbon reserves, triggering a chronic energy deficit, with imports exceeding exports. (Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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