HONG KONG, Feb 20 (Reuters) - China’s Yunnan Tin Co Ltd , the world’s largest tin producer, said it expected to turn profitable in the first quarter, even while prices remain low, after it halted production of loss-making products.
The company, based China’s southern province of Yunnan, said on Thursday it expected to post a net profit of 90-110 million yuan ($14.8-$18.1 million) for the three months to end-March, compared with a year-ago net loss of 194.1 million yuan.
“We have stopped production of some loss-making products and have also halted investment projects that have little contribution to the company,” Yunnan Tin said in a filing on the Shenzhen stock exchange.
The tin producer has been controlling costs and adjusting its inventory to try and turn around its fortunes.
In a separate filing on Thursday, Yunnan Tin reported a net loss of 1.27 billion yuan last year due to weak non-ferrous metal prices and lower gross profit margins. That compared with a 34.5 million yuan profit in 2012, it said.
Last year the company was also hit by the Chinese government’s drive to clamp down corruption.
In October, Chinese authorities arrested and charged the company’s chairman, Lei Yi, for accepting bribes of 20 million yuan, including from the chairman of a company called Leed International Education Group, in which Goldman Sachs has a stake.
Lei later resigned as chairman and was replaced by Gao Wenxiang, formerly vice chairman, from Jan. 24.
The earnings announcements came after China’s markets closed.
Yunnan Tin’s Shenzhen-listed shares closed down 0.96 percent at 10.35 yuan, roughly in line with the CSI300 index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings, which ended down 0.92 percent. ($1 = 6.0764 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Twinnie Siu; editing by Jane Baird)