May 8, 2018 / 3:40 PM / 20 days ago

Poland's KGHM expects to match or exceed 2017 profit this year

LUBIN, Poland, May 8 (Reuters) - One of the world’s biggest copper miners, KGHM Polska Miedz SA, expects this year’s consolidated net profit to match or exceed last year’s result despite lower capacity, acting Chief Executive Officer Rafal Pawelczak said on Tuesday.

Last year group’s net profit amounted to 1.57 billion zloty ($434.58 million), but this year the company had to close one of its production outlets - copper smelter Glogow II - for three months for renovation.

“Yes, for sure, the result will be positive, there is no doubt,” Pawelczak told Reuters in an interview.

“In my opinion results may be on the similar or a little bit higher level in comparison to 2017, as this was a difficult year,” Pawelczak said, citing breakdowns at the company’s operations last year.

KGHM sald last October that an accident at its Polish smelter would lead to a fall of 14,000 tonnes in copper output.

Pawelczak also forecast that the copper price will exceed $7,000 by the end of this year, as analysts at Bank of China expect. He also said that the company may present new information on its Canadian and American assets, but gave no further details.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was bid down 1 percent at $6,758 a tonne on Tuesday.

$1 = 3.6127 zlotys Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Adrian Croft

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