UPDATE 1-Chile's Copec 2nd-qtr profit jumps nearly threefold
SANTIAGO Aug 27 (Reuters) - Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec said its second-quarter net profit jumped nearly threefold on stronger forestry, fuel and fishing operations.
Copec reaped roughly $246.3 million in earnings between April and June, the company reported late Monday night, well above profit of $86.5 million in the second quarter of 2012. Analysts looked for a profit of $195 million, according to a Reuters poll.
"The forestry business had higher wood pulp, panel and sawn lumber sales, mainly explained by greater volume across all lines, and a wood pulp and panel price increase," Copec said in a statement.
Forestry, Chile's second-largest industry after copper mining, accounted for roughly 62 percent of Copec's consolidated assets as of December 2012, according to the company.
Higher commercial margins in the fuels sector and improved operating income in the fishing business also helped the conglomerate's profit.
Copec owns one of the world's biggest wood pulp producers, the world's No. 3 fishing company and the main fuel distributors in Chile and Colombia. It operates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, the United States and Uruguay.
Copec, like many companies in commodities-dependent Latin America, is attuned to signs of a sharp slowdown in key trade partner China.
It is focusing this year on its multibillion dollar investments before looking at acquisition opportunities, the company's chief executive told Reuters in May.
Copec is majority-owned by AntarChile, a holding group that is in turn majority-owned by the wealthy Chilean Angelini family.
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