Mumbai: The nation’s largest copper and zinc producer, Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd, reported a drop in profit for the third straight quarter after copper refining fees failed to offset a decline in zinc prices.
Net income fell 55% to Rs598 crore in the three months ended March from Rs1,320 crore a year ago, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. A Bloomberg survey of seven analysts had estimated a median profit of Rs450 crore. Sales dropped 36% to Rs4,340 crore.
Zinc prices for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange averaged $1,207 a tonne in the period, compared with $2,459 a tonne a year earlier. Zinc, coated on steel to make it rust-proof, fell 36% in the past year as commodity prices slumped the most in five decades.
Revenue from the copper business grew as Sterlite won fees of $75 a tonne for smelting ore and 7.5 cents a pound for refining copper this year, an unidentified company executive had said on 13 January. That compares with $45 and 4.5 cents for 2008.
Sterlite shares fell 8% to close at Rs382.85 in Mumbai trading on Tuesday. The earnings were announced after the market closed.