(Adds comments, further details from interim report)
SINGAPORE, June 16 Commodity trading giant
Trafigura said its first-half net profit jumped 24
percent, driven by a rise in volumes in its oil and bulk
businesses, and forecast solid margins and volume growth for the
Trafigura, the third-largest oil trader after Swiss rivals
Vitol and Glencore, posted a profit of $469.7 million
in the six months to March this year, the company said in its
interim profit report.
Trading volumes in its oil and petroleum business were up 7
percent from a year earlier, while volumes in its non-ferrous
and bulk commodities business surged 67 percent.
"We expect solid margins and volume growth to be sustained
into the second half of this year," Chief Executive Jeremy Weir,
who assumed his position in March, said in the statement.
The Dutch trading firm said it expects demand for energy
products and industrial raw materials that it handles to
continue growing in the foreseeable future.
"China's GDP growth may have moderated to an expected 7.5
percent this year from the double-digit rates of recent years,
but this still translates into a need for ever-higher volumes of
raw materials and energy," Executive Chairman Claude Dauphin
said in the statement.
Dauphin added that while growth in some emerging markets may
have slowed significantly, others were picking up momentum such
"It is hard to see these fundamental global trends going
into reverse," said Dauphin.
The company said overall gross margin for the six-month
period was 1.5 percent, unchanged from a year ago on a
like-for-like basis, while net turnover rose to $63.8 billion
from $61.8 billion in the same period last year.
The filing to the Singapore exchange follows Trafigura's
listing of a $500 million perpetual subordinated bond on the
bourse in 2013.
Trafigura, which has long relied on its oil and non-ferrous
business, has recently invested in coal and iron ore as new
growth areas and has been buying key infrastructure assets to
support its trading business.
The company has said its subsidiary Impala's Porto Sudeste
iron ore export facility in Brazil, which it jointly controls
with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Co
, is expected to start operations in the third quarter
of this year.
(Reporting by Rachel Armstrong and Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing
by Richard Pullin)