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

Antofagasta Plc, the copper company controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, said profit rose 13 percent on higher output of the metal used in pipes and wires.

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

Antofagasta, which expanded copper output 14 percent in the period 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 London-based company sold copper at 374.1 cents a pound in the period, compared with 378 cents a year earlier, according to the statement. The average cash cost of production increased to 146.4 cents a pound from 142.5 cents, it said.

Antofagasta declined 1.1 percent to 1,229 pence at the close in London, valuing the company at 12.1 billion pounds ($19.2 billion).

Antofagasta also produces molybdenum, used to harden steel. Average prices for the metal fell to $13.30 a pound in the nine months from $16.20 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. Debt declined to $1.31 billion from $1.46 billion at the end of December.

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