(Adds details, analyst comment, share price)
July 30 Lower zinc production and a decline in
Zambian copper output weighed on Vedanta Resources Plc's
core quarterly earnings, sending the miner's shares down more
than 3 percent.
Vedanta, controlled by one-time scrap metal dealer Anil
Agarwal, ground out a marginal increase in first-quarter core
earnings due largely to its oil and gas, aluminium and
non-Zambian copper operations.
But the company's Zambian copper business, which accounts
for about 10 percent of revenue, reported a 43 percent fall in
core earnings, which Vedanta attributed to weak prices and lower
production in the period.
Vedanta bought a controlling stake in Zambia's Konkola
Copper Mines (KCM) a decade ago. The business, intended to be
part of a push beyond the company's origins in India, has
Core earnings at Vedanta's zinc business also fell.
Vedanta said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $1.04 billion for the quarter
ended June 30 from $1.03 billion a year earlier.
Citi analyst Jatinder Goel said EBITDA was 10 percent below
his forecast of $1.16 billion.
Other divisions performed better than Zambia. Overall, core
earnings at Vedanta's copper business, which includes assets in
India and Australia and was the company's biggest money earner
last year, rose 16 percent to $61.2 million.
Cairn India Ltd, Vedanta's oil and gas unit,
recorded a 1 percent increase in EBITDA for the quarter. Last
year, it generated about a quarter of the company's overall
Vedanta's aluminium business posted a 74 percent increase in
EBITDA, helped by higher prices and lower production costs on
account of the depreciation in the Indian rupee.
Vedanta reiterated plans to restart iron ore production in
the western Indian state of Goa in the second half of the
current financial year. A ban on mining in Goa, imposed in 2012
to curb illegal mining, was lifted in April.
Vedanta's shares were down 2.8 percent at 1063 pence at 0821
GMT, ranking them among the biggest percentage losers on the
(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Robin