The world\'s largest gas company Gazprom said on Thursday it had doubled third quarter net profits to over 10 billion dollars due to higher sales even as its nine month profits fell. Net profits in the third quarter of 2012 were 305.05 billion rubles ($10.05 billion) compared with 151.98 billion rubles ($5.07 billion) in the same period the previous year, the Russian state-controlled giant said in a statement. Sales in the third quarter amounted to 1.12 trillion rubles ($36.9 billion) which was up 18 percent on the same period last year. Over the first nine months however profits were 12 percent lower than the same period last year at 813.7 billion rubles ($26.8 billion), it said. Yet total sales rose slightly by 2 percent to 3.351 trillion rubles ($110.4 billion). Net sales of gas fell 8 percent in the nine months, largely due to a fall of 16 percent in sales to ex-Soviet states. Sales of gas to Europe and other countries increased 4 percent in the nine months but this was due to an increase in prices and not volumes sold which actually fell.