August 29, 2019 / 12:52 PM / 19 days ago

Jiangxi Copper first-half profit inches up as higher output offsets lower prices

FILE PHOTO: Trucks are seen at a copper mine of Jiangxi Copper in Dexing, Jiangxi province, China December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - Jiangxi Copper Co (600362.SS) (0358.HK), one of China’s biggest copper producers, said on Thursday net profit nudged up 1.8% year-on-year in the first half of 2019 as higher production offset lower copper prices.

The Nanchang-based company’s net income was 1.3 billion yuan ($183.28 million) for January-June, according to a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, while revenues stood at 105 billion yuan, up 0.5% from a year earlier.

Jiangxi Copper had in April reported first-quarter net profit of 742 million yuan, implying a second-quarter profit of 558 million yuan, up 9% from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations. That marks its best second-quarter result since 2015, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 averaged $6,175.50 a tonne in the first half, 5.6% lower than a year earlier, Jiangxi Copper said.

Prices for copper, considered an economic bellwether, rose in the first quarter on fears of mine supply disruption but dropped over the April-June period as Sino-U.S. trade tensions - and their potential impact on demand for industrial metals - returned to the fore.

Because there is no major difference between supply and demand levels, “it is expected that copper prices will continue to be dominated by the macro situation in the second half of the year,” the company said.

Jiangxi Copper’s refined copper cathode output came in at 749,300 tonnes in the first half, up 3.5% from a year earlier. It had in March set a 2019 output target of 1.44 million tonnes.

The company, which operates copper mines as well as smelters, also produced 102,000 tonnes of copper concentrate during the six months, up 0.2% year-on-year and 12.88 tonnes of gold, down 0.2% from a year earlier.

Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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