Antofagasta raises shareholder payouts after stronger profit

10th August 2023

By: Reuters


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LONDON - Mining company Antofagasta raised shareholder returns on Thursday after posting a 7.5% rise in half-year profit as higher copper sales more than offset lower prices.

The London-listed Chilean company bucked a trend among major miners including Rio Tinto, Glencore and Anglo American, which reported lower half-year profits because of reduced commodities demand amid slower economic growth in key markets.

Its shares opened 0.4% higher in London.

Antofagasta, majority owned by Chile's Luksic family, said it would increase its interim dividend to 11.7 cents per share from 9.2 cents last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first six months of the year rose to $1.33-billion from $1.24-billion last year.

"Our focus remains on growing production through our pipeline of projects safely and competitively, which will generate value for all our stakeholders," said CEO Ivan Arriagada.

The FTSE 100 company operates four copper mines in Chile, the world's biggest producer of the industrial metal, accounting for 30% of global output.

Copper demand is expected to grow further due to its use in applications from solar panels to electric cars as the world moves toward green energy.

In July, Antofagasta lowered its full-year guidance for copper production to 640 000 to 670 000 t on water shortages, due to drought in the South American country which has lasted more than a decade. It expects capital expenditure of $1.9-billion for the year.

"We do not see major changes to consensus estimates for full year 2023. The earnings impact from guidance cut earlier is already baked into current market expectations," analysts at Citi said.

Edited by Reuters


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