En+ Group Doubles Profits Despite U.S. Sanctions

Russia’s En+ Group, which manages billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum and hydropower businesses, reported a twofold increase in its first-quarter net profit compared with a year ago to $667 million, RBC reported.

Also on Friday, the company said that businessman Oleg Deripaska, who was targeted by U.S. sanctions in April, has resigned from the board of directors of En+, in a move that could help alleviate sanctions pressure on the firm.

Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest companies and businessmen, including En+, on April 6, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other so-called malign activities.

En+ said it would propose that Philippe Mailfait, an independent director at the group, replace Deripaska on the board of directors of Rusal, Russia’s largest aluminum producer.

It said the long-term effects of the U.S. move and the threat of additional sanctions were difficult to determine.

The group’s chairman said this month it was working on a plan it hoped would lead the United States to lift the sanctions.

Deripaska has tried to distance himself from the companies. He agreed last month to lower his stake in En+ Group to less than 50 percent, after Washington said it could lift the sanctions against the company if he relinquished control.