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Korea Zinc’s Quarterly Profit Declines as Metal Prices Fall

Korea Zinc Co., the world’s third-biggest producer of refined zinc, posted a worse-than-expected 6.8 percent drop in second-quarter profit as metal prices declined.

Net income was 166.2 billion won ($146 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a revised 178.3 billion won a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing by the Seoul-based company today. That missed the 199.5 billion won average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Prices of zinc and lead averaged lower in the second quarter from a year earlier as the European sovereign-debt crisis and concerns about an economic slowdown in China, the world’s top metals user, curbed demand. Nyrstar NV, the largest producer of refined zinc, last week posted a first-half loss on lower prices.

Korea Zinc fell 3.5 percent to 378,000 won at the close in Seoul trading, paring its gains to 24.3 percent this year. Korea’s benchmark Kospi index gained 0.8 percent today.

Sales dropped 5.5 percent to 1.42 trillion won, today’s filing showed.

The average price of zinc for immediate delivery slipped 14 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, while cash lead decreased 22 percent. Zinc and lead combined were the biggest contributors to the company’s revenue in 2011, taking up 42.7 percent, according to a company filing on March 30.

Cash silver averaged 23 percent lower during the same period, while the average price of spot gold gained 6.8 percent.

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