HONG KONG, March 20 China's largest listed gold
producer Zijin Mining Group reported net
profit growth for the first time in three years in 2014 but
expects gold prices to hover at low levels due to the global
The company expects prices of gold and base metals to stay
relatively weak as China's economic growth is expected to slow
to about 7 percent, while emerging economies such as India also
Net profit rose 10.3 percent to 2.3 billion yuan ($370.75
million), Zijin said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange
on Friday, marking the first net profit growth since 2011 when
earnings rose 18.3 percent.
Zijin attributed the profit rise to cost-cutting measures
such as shutting down obsolete production lines to weather
dismal global metal prices.
Gold prices fell 1.8 percent in 2014, partly
pressured by weak Chinese demand. Gold prices are now hovering
at $1,180 an ounce, which are still well below a 2011 peak near
Chinese demand last year fell nearly one-third, data from
GFMS at Thomson Reuters shows. It was the first drop in 12
years, as an anti-graft drive by the government eroded sales of
jewellery and precious metals, adding to the impact of slowing
Smaller rival Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd saw
its 2014 net profit fall 24.6 percent, marking the second
straight year of declines due to weak global gold prices.
Shanghai jeweller Lao Feng Xiang Co Ltd
posted a 5.6 percent rise in its preliminary net
profit in 2014, its weakest performance since 2008 when net
profit fell, according to Eikon data.
Zijin's results came after the stock market closed. Its
Shanghai-traded shares closed 0.8 percent lower, lagging the
main Shanghai composite index's 1 percent rise. Its Hong
Kong-listed shares closed up 0.9 percent, outperforming the main
Hang Seng index's 0.4 percent fall.
($1 = 6.2037 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Keith Weir)