Trafigura 2012 earnings fall below $1 bln - FT

SINGAPORE Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:44pm EST

SINGAPORE Dec 21 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Trafigura earned about $1 billion for the second straight year in 2012, but down from a record achieved last year due to higher staff costs and new investments, the Financial Times reported.

The privately-held company, based in Geneva and Singapore, made a profit of $991.9 million in the year to September, down 11 percent from last year's record $1.11 billion, the FT said, citing data from Trafigura's annual report.

The commodities trader's profits show that the profitability of the world's top houses that dominate raw materials trade is strong despite slower economic growth in top consumer China.

The drop from 2011 was due to higher staff costs and expenses related to new investments and business purchases, the FT reported.

Gross profit, a rough measure of underlying profitability, was up on the year. Revenues fell 1.6 percent to $120 billion, it said. The company does not release its accounts publicly.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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