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UPDATE 1-Aluminium giant Rusal says Q1 profit drops 44% in aftermath of U.S. sanctions

sanctions@

* Q1 recurring net profit falls to $300 mln

* Revenue drops about 21% to $2.17 bln

* U.S. sanctions on the company were lifted in Jan (Adds CEO comment, detail)

May 14 (Reuters) - Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal on Tuesday said its first-quarter net profit fell about 44%, hit by the lingering effects of U.S. sanctions and weaker aluminum prices.

Recurring net profit for the three months to March 31 fell to $300 million from $531 million at the same time last year, Rusal said in a statement to the Hong Kong bourse.

The company said it had seen lower prices in its aluminum sales over the quarter, with revenue declining by about 21% to $2.17 billion.

Washington had imposed sanctions on Rusal, the world's largest aluminum producer outside China, in April 2018, but lifted them in late-January this year after negotiations and organizational changes in the company.

In April, the firm had flagged weaker aluminum output and value added product sales for the quarter, due to the U.S. sanctions affecting several of its contracts.

"In the coming months Rusal will focus on restoring its market position, including the share of value added products, which will be vital due to ongoing price uncertainty in the global aluminum market and continued U.S.-China tensions," said Chief Executive Evgenii Nikitin. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)