Sterlite Profit Exceeds Estimates on Higher Earnings at Unit

Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., the nation’s top copper producer, posted a better-than-expected 50 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as income from its metals and power businesses rose.

Group net income at the company, a Vedanta Resources Plc unit based in the southern Indian city of Tuticorin, rose to 19.2 billion rupees ($354 million), or 5.73 rupees a share, in the three months ended March 31, from 12.8 billion rupees, or 3.61 rupees, a year earlier, it said today in a statement. The median profit of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 14.4 billion rupees. Sales increased 17 percent to 126.1 billion rupees.

Hindustan Zinc Ltd., 65 percent owned by Sterlite, reported a better-than-forecast 54 percent gain in fourth-quarter profit, aided by higher metal output. Net income at India’s largest zinc and silver producer rose to 21.7 billion rupees in the three months ended March 31, from 14.1 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in an exchange filing on April 25.

Shares of Sterlite, owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, rose as much as 5.3 percent to 96.75 rupees and traded at 94.2 rupees as of 11:21 a.m. in Mumbai. The stock is down 20 percent over the year to date compared to a 0.1 percent fall in the benchmark Sensitive Index.

Earnings before tax and interest at Sterlite’s copper and power businesses jumped 23 percent and 37 percent to 3.34 billion rupees and 2.08 billion rupees respectively. Total expenses at Sterlite gained 16 percent to 98.2 billion rupees, with fuel costs up 6 percent to 10.8 billion rupees.