Vedanta Resources' share price jumps despite lacklustre third-quarter update

 
Suzie Neuwirth
A general view of the Vedanta aluminum r
Vedanta's aluminium division saw the largest decline (Source: Getty)

Core earnings at Vedanta Resources plummet 51 per cent in the third quarter, hammered by the ongoing commodities rout.

The Indian mining conglomerate reported a decline in core earnings to $493.6m (£343.8m), while total group revenue slumped 27 per cent to $2.4bn.

Its aluminium division took the biggest hit, with earnings falling 84 per cent over the period to $20.9m, while oil and gas earnings plummeted 72 per cent to $95.5m.

Despite the disappointing update, the FTSE 250-listed company’s share price was up 7.2 per cent to 243p in mid-morning trading, buoyed by the wider sector’s gains on the index after the stock market in China – the world’s largest consumer of commodities – rose for the first day in four.

Other lowlights of the third-quarter update included a 45 per cent drop in zinc earnings to $217.6m, with its international zinc business down 100 per cent to a loss of $200,000 after it announced earlier this week that it had closed an Irish zinc mine.

Chief executive Tom Albanese said: “In the weak commodity price environment, we remain committed to optimising our operations, leveraging our high quality asset base, and proactively managing our balance sheet.

“I am encouraged to see the positive results of our cost reduction programme gaining momentum, and believe that this relentless focus on efficiency will not only make our business more resilient through the cycle but position us favourably for any future improvement in market conditions.

“Despite challenging market conditions, these efforts have allowed us to generate a robust EBITDA margin of 23 per cent.”

Albanese is hardly a good luck charm for mining companies; he stepped down from the top job at Rio Tinto in January 2013 after the company announced a whopping £8.7bn writedown, largely related to a badly judged acquisition of Canadian aluminium giant Alcan just before the start of the global financial crisis.

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