Commodity prices and rising costs push Xstrata profits down 37 per cent
Xstrata plc, the Swiss mining company, which is subject of a $US33 billion ($A32.4 billion) takeover by Glencore International, said 2012 profit plunged 37 per cent on weaker commodity prices and higher costs.
Net income, excluding exceptional items, such as impairment charges, fell to $US3.65 billion from $US5.79 billion a year earlier, the company said. Sales at the world's largest exporter of power-station coal slid 7 per cent to $US31.6 billion.
"The combined impact of falling commodity prices, ongoing inflationary pressure on operating costs and continued strong producer currencies relative to the US dollar put pressure on our margins," chief executive officer Mick Davis said in the statement.
The average price for power-station coal at the Port of Newcastle, an Asian benchmark, dropped 19 per cent to $US90.65 a tonne in 2012, according to McCloskey Group data and copper slid 9.9 per cent. Xstrata's thermal coal production last year rose 7.2 per cent to 90.4 million tonnes, while copper output fell 16 per cent to 747,042 tonnes.
Xstrata, the fourth-largest producer of copper, began output at its $US1.5 billion Antapaccay project in southern Peru in November. It will produce an average of 160,000 tonnes per year in the first five years.
Xstrata's net income, including the exceptional items, plunged to $US1.18 billion from $US5.7 billion. The full-year dividend rose 14 per cent to US45.5¢ a share.