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Sterlite Profit Declines as Pollution Order Shuts Copper Smelter

Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., the nation’s top copper producer, posted a worse-than-expected 22 percent decline in first-quarter profit after its only smelter was ordered shut for polluting the atmosphere.

Group net income fell to 9.34 billion rupees ($158 million), or 2.78 rupees a share, in the three months ended June 30 from 12 billion rupees, or 3.57 rupees, a year earlier, Sterlite said today in a statement. The median profit of 23 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 10.1 billion rupees. Sales at the Vedanta Resources Plc unit, based in the southern city of Tuticorin, fell 23 percent to 81.9 billion rupees, against an estimate of 68.8 billion rupees.

Sterlite, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, lost revenue from its copper business after the pollution control authority of the southern state of Tamil Nadu on March 30 ordered the closing of the smelter for emitting high quantities of sulfur dioxide. Sterlite restarted the unit on June 23 following an order by the National Green Tribunal, the company said in the statement.

Total expenses fell by a quarter to 68.3 billion rupees, while fuel costs surged 9.5 percent to 12.2 billion rupees, according to the statement. The company today won approval from the High Court of Madras for a merger with Sesa Goa Ltd., another Vedanta group company, according to the statement.

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