Teck Resources profit plunges 82% as pandemic hits demand, prices

(Reuters) - Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd TECKb.TOTECK.N reported a more than 82% fall in second-quarter adjusted profit on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt demand for its products and squeezed prices.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors pass a sign of sponsor Teck Resources at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Miners around the world, including Teck, have been grappling with the havoc wreaked by the pandemic on the commodities market, forcing companies to shut mines, cut production and in some cases wind down certain operations.

Teck, which produces copper, zinc and coking coal, issued an updated forecast for the second half of 2020. The company in April suspended its 2020 outlook, citing the impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

The miner, which said all its operations were currently up and running with safety measures in place, now expects to produce 11 million to 12 million tonnes of steelmaking coal, and 145,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes of copper during the second half of the year.

It also forecast zinc production between 315,000 tonnes and 345,000 tonnes.

The outlook is better than feared, Credit Suisse analysts said, noting that the second quarter was a “solid” beat.

Teck reported an adjusted profit of 17 Canadian cents per share, compared with Credit Suisse’s estimates of a loss of 7 Canadian cents per share and consensus estimates of a loss of 10 Canadian cents per share.

Shares of the company rose 7% to C$15.55 in afternoon trade.

The company said construction at a massive copper project in Chile remained partially suspended to limit transmission of the fast-spreading virus.

Vancouver-based Teck said adjusted profit attributable to shareholders fell to C$89 million ($66.45 million) in the three months ended June 30.

Revenue dropped 45% to C$1.72 billion. The company sold 5 million tonnes of steelmaking coal, higher than its previous forecast, as Chinese steel production returned to pre-coronavirus levels during the reported quarter.

Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar, Shanti S Nair and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shounak Dasgupta