Eco-Bat Technologies Ltd., a lead producer, reported an 81 percent drop in first-quarter profit as lead and silver sales declined.
Net income was 4 million pounds ($6.1 million) compared with 20.6 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, Matlock, England-based Eco-Bat said in an e-mailed report today. Revenue fell 11 percent to 388 million pounds. Lead sales dropped 15 percent to 181,600 metric tons from 213,700 tons after the loss of a supply contract with Johnson Controls Battery Group Inc. on Jan. 1 and “the difficult economic climate in Europe,” it said. Eco-Bat and Johnson Controls, based in Milwaukee, are in litigation over a 2008 supply contract, according to the statement.
Lead for delivery in three months averaged $2,308 a ton in the first quarter, up 9 percent from $2,117 a ton in the first quarter of 2012. Prices have since declined and there is competition for scrap batteries in Europe and the U.S., Eco-Bat said.
Eco-Bat said it cooperating with the European Commission after regulators made unannounced visits on Sept. 26 at companies that buy scrap batteries and other lead scrap for the production of recycled lead. “The commission stated that it has reasons to believe that the companies concerned may have violated Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which prohibits cartels and restrictive business practices,” Eco-Bat said.
((Eco-Bat will hold a conference call at 2 p.m. U.K. time. The dial-in number is +44-20-8515-2334 or +0800-358-5271 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 4622686#.))