Eco-Bat Technologies Ltd., the largest refined lead producer in Europe and South Africa, reported a 53 percent decline in first quarter profit because of lower prices and sales of the metal.
Net income fell to 20.59 million pounds ($32.2 million) in the three months ended March 31 from 44 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, the Matlock, England-based company said in an e-mailed report today. Revenue dropped 10 percent to 435.9 million pounds.
Lead for delivery in three months averaged $2,117 a metric ton in the first quarter, down 18 percent from a year earlier. Eco-Bat said about 88 percent of its production was recycled lead mostly from old lead-acid batteries. Lead sales fell 3.1 percent to 213,700 tons from 220,500 tons, it said.
“Sales volumes during the latter part of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 are slightly down against the same period a year ago, principally due to the relatively mild winter weather conditions experienced across Western Europe and North America,” Eco-Bat said. “Against the current background of a declining LME price and the continuation of the increasing prices as a result of a shortage of scrap in both Europe and North America, the group will plan for this continuance of what is historically lower scrap margins.”
((Eco-Bat will hold a conference call at 2 p.m. U.K. time. The dial-in number is +44-20-7190-1595 or +0800-358-5263 within the U.K. A replay will be available for two weeks on +44-20-7959-6720 or +0800-358-9369 within the U.K., pin code 4541918#.))