Vedanta Resources cashes in on the rise in zinc prices

Courtney Goldsmith
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Vedanta mines zinc in India, South Africa and Namibia (Source: Getty)

Higher commodity prices helped Vedanta Resources' earnings rise in the first quarter, sending its shares up nearly two per cent.

The figures

Vedanta's core earnings rose about 48 per cent year-on-year in the period to the end of June to $777.8m (£607.5m) on higher zinc production.

Mined metal content rose 84 per cent at its Indian zinc unit to 233,000 tonnes compared with the previous year, however it fell from 312,000 tonnes the previous period.

Shares in the FTSE 250 firm, which have fallen around 20 per cent this year, edged up 1.94 per cent to 792p in morning trading.

Why it's interesting

Zinc prices have doubled in the past year and a half due to strong demand from China. As China ramps up construction, demand has risen for steel and zinc, which is used to galvanise steel to protect it from rusting.

Vedanta, which mines for zinc in India, South Africa and Namibia, said revenue at its zinc India arm rose 90 per cent in the quarter compared with the previous year to $695m due to strong zinc and lead prices as well as higher volumes.

The company completed a merger with Cairn Energy's India unit in April.

What Vedanta said

Tom Albanese, chief executive at Vedanta Resources, said the company had made a positive start to the year.

Vedanta is a world leader in zinc, and zinc prices have strengthened since the quarter end on continued global supply deficits.

The Gamsberg zinc project remains on course to commence production in mid-calendar-year 2018. We remain committed to improvements at copper-Zambia, while our continued ramp-up in the aluminium business has helped us exit the quarter with a strong production run rate of 1.4m tonnes per annum.

Our recent comprehensive refinancing exercise of $1.84bn further helps to optimise our balance sheet and create value for all our stakeholders.

Read more: Vedanta ramps up full-year production for record ouput

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