Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG), Australia’s third-biggest iron ore producer, said first-half profit gained more than threefold, missing analyst estimates, after expanding output at its operations in Western Australia.
Net income was $1.7 billion in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with $478 million a year earlier, the Perth-based company said today in a statement. That compares with a median estimate of $1.8 billion of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company declared a 10 Australian cent dividend.
Australia’s biggest junk-bond issuer is seeking to cut its liabilities as it boosts production and after global iron ore prices rebounded from their June low. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, yesterday joined Rio Tinto Group in predicting lower prices for 2014 as supply rises.
“The ongoing strong demand for our products has allowed us to accelerate debt repayment, de-risk the balance sheet and increase returns to our shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Neville Power said according to the statement.
Fortescue rose 1 percent to A$6.04 at 12:03 p.m. in Sydney trading.
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