Jiangxi Copper Advances in Shanghai as Profits Swell by Half

  • Producer cut management costs and financial expenses fell
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Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s biggest smelter of the metal used in pipes and wiring, advanced in Shanghai after profit jumped 49 percent in the first quarter.

The shares increased by as much as 1.7 percent to 14.06 yuan ($2.17) and closed at 13.93 yuan, snapping a three-day slide.

Net income rose to 201.4 million yuan from 134.9 million yuan a year earlier as the company cut costs, it said in a statement to the exchange after the close of trade Thursday. Sales jumped about 20 percent to 38.8 billion yuan. 

The producer reduced management costs by 7 percent, while financial expenses fell 38 percent, according to the statement. That helped offset a decline in copper prices on the London Metal Exchange, which averaged about 20 percent less than a year earlier as demand slowed in China.

“The management put a lot effort into cutting costs and they’ve done very well,” Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities (Asia) Ltd. in Hong Kong, said by phone.

While the shares rose in Shanghai, they declined in Hong Kong, along with the benchmark gauge. “The earnings in general don’t look great compared with previous good quarters,” Kevin Guo, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities Co., said by phone from Shenzhen. “Copper will remain weak.”

Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the country’s biggest state-owned producer, said Thursday its first-quarter profit fell 60 percent to 19.2 million yuan after average prices of the metal in Shanghai declined from a year earlier. The company’s shares lost 2.6 percent in Hong Kong.

— With assistance by Winnie Zhu

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