Oct 21 (Reuters) - Finnish maker of packaging for food and beverages Huhtamaki said on Friday it had booked a bigger than expected gain of 37.5 million euros ($36.7 million) in its third quarter from the divestment of its Russian operations.

In September, the group expected to book a gain of approximately 15 million euros after it sold its operations in Russia to Espetina Ltd, a holding company owned by Alexander Govor and Iury Kushnerov, for 151 million euros.

The Finnish group posted adjusted operating earnings of 101.5 million euros for July-September, against analysts' average estimate of 94.9 million euros in a poll by Vara research.

($1 = 1.0233 euros) (Reporting by Jagoda Darlak Editing by Mark Potter)