Antofagasta 9-Month Profit Rises 13% on Higher Copper Output

Antofagasta Plc (ANTO), the copper company controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, said nine-month profit rose 13 percent due to increased production of the metal used in cables and pipes.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization advanced to $2.83 billion from $2.51 billion a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a statement. Sales gained 16 percent to $4.85 billion.

Antofagasta, which raised its copper output by 14 percent in the first nine months of 2012 to 515,800 metric tons, is seeking to increase annual production to about 700,000 tons this year from 640,500 tons amid rising demand.

The company sold its copper at 374.1 cents per pound in the period compared with 378 cents a year earlier, according to the statement. The average cash cost of production in the first nine months of the year increased to 146.4 cents per pound from 142.5 cents a year earlier, Antofagasta said.

Antofagasta declined 1.6 percent to 1,223 pence at 12:03 p.m. in London trading, vauing the company at 12.06 billion pounds ($19.1 billion.)

The average price of molybdenum, used to harden steel, fell to $13.3 a pound in the first nine months from $16.2 a year earlier.

The company had cash of $3.51 billion as of Sept. 30 compared with $3.04 billion at the end of last year, according to the statement. Antofagasta’s debt declined to $1.31 billion from $1.46 billion at the end of December, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at fkayakiran@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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