MMG First-Half Profit Slumps 75% After Metals Prices Decline

MMG Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China’s biggest state-owned metals trader, said first-half profit plunged about 75 percent after prices and sales fell.

Gold sales slumped 47 percent by volume and zinc dropped 7 percent, Melbourne-based MMG said today in a statement. Prices for copper, zinc and gold averaged 7 percent, 2 percent and 8 percent lower respectively compared with a year ago, it said.

MMG, controlled by China Minmetals Corp., follows companies including Rio Tinto Group in reporting lower profits as slowing economic growth in China cut demand for raw materials. MMG will release its finalized first-half results on Aug. 28.

Profit was also affected by increased operating and depreciation expenses as it mined more ore in the first half. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell about 25 percent in the period, the company said.

The stock declined 6.6 percent, the biggest drop since June 24, to close at HK$1.98. It’s fallen 38 percent this year.

MMG maintained its 2013 production target of 170,000 metric tons to 185,000 tons of copper and 572,000 tons to 590,000 tons of zinc. It operates the Century mine, Australia’s largest open-cut zinc mine.

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