Chile steelmaker CAP 2012 net profit skids 47.7 percent

SANTIAGO Tue Feb 5, 2013 6:52am EST

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SANTIAGO Feb 5 (Reuters) - Net profit at Chilean steel and iron ore producer CAP tumbled 47.7 percent last year from 2011 levels due to volatile international iron prices and steeper taxes, the company said.

Profit totaled $230.78 million for full-year 2012, CAP said late Monday in a statement to regulators.

Chile's Congress approved changes in tax laws in September 2012. Businesses in the Andean nation face a higher tax rate of 20 percent and fewer loopholes to evade them, though the rate remains well below Latin America's average of 25.06 percent in 2011, according to accountancy firm KPMG.

"The fall in (iron) prices has started to give way to a sustained recovery, which has led prices in early 2013 to levels even higher than before they fell," the company said.

CAP could invest at least $3.5 billion to $4 billion from 2015 to 2018 as it considers plans to propel iron ore production to 30 million tonnes and diversify into energy generation, Chief Executive Jaime Charles told Reuters in May.

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