* Q2 pretax profit 714 mln SEK vs forecast 923 mln
* Sales volumes up but profits stung by metal price fall
(Adds detail, background)
STOCKHOLM, July 19 Sweden's Boliden
posted lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Thursday
as weaker metals prices hit profitability at both its mining and
smelting business, eclipsing a firm rise in sales volumes.
Boliden's pretax earnings fell to 714 million Swedish crowns
($102.82 million) from 1.08 billion a year earlier to come in
below the mean forecast of 923 million seen in a Reuters poll of
The company, among the world's ten biggest zinc producers
and a top copper producer in Europe, said that while production
rose at its mines and smelters and currency swings worked in its
favour, lower metal prices and rising costs weighed heavier.
"The quarter was characterized by a relatively high
production, especially in Mines, but also by lower metal
prices," it said in a statement.
"We have not seen any major changes among our industrial
customers, mainly located in Northern Europe. Boliden's sales
remain strong, but we share the market's concerns regarding the
The company, whose main products are copper, zinc and lead,
as well as gold and silver, was boosted by robust metal prices
at the start of the year but has seen a global slowdown stemming
from the euro zone debt crisis eat away at prices since then.
Boliden, an operator of mines and smelters in Sweden,
Finland, Norway and Ireland, said copper and zinc prices were
down 14 percent in dollar terms in the second quarter compared
to a year earlier while prices for lead had tumbled 23 percent.
Revenues at the group, which unveiled plans for an expansion
of its flagship Aitik copper mine in northern Sweden in May,
rose to 10.4 billion on the back of stronger volumes from a
year-ago 9.9 billion to beat the average 9.5 billion forecast by
($1 = 6.9440 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Johan Ahlander)