New chair for Kazakhmys as earnings drop

LONDON-LISTED Kazakh miner Kazakhmys posted a more than 30 per cent drop in 2012 core profit yesterday, excluding the impact of its share in rival ENRC, as weak prices hit revenue and failed to offset rising costs.

The miner, which owns 26 per cent of rival ENRC, also said it might have to write down the value of that stake, after a sharp drop in ENRC shares over 2012.

The copper miner said it had appointed former London Metal Exchange boss Simon Heale as chairman and Andrew Southam as chief financial officer, replacing Matthew Hird who steps down in May after six years. A new chairman had been expected after Vladimir Kim said in May he planned to step down.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came in at $1.36bn (£896m) against $1.96bn a year ago, excluding the contribution from Kazakhmys’s stake in rival FTSE-100 miner ENRC which will be published next month.

Meanwhile miner Rio Tinto also rounded out its management team under new boss Sam Walsh yesterday, naming former BHP Billiton finance head, Chris Lynch, as its chief financial officer as it looks to slash costs in the face of weaker commodity prices.

Lynch, 59, will replace the well-respected Guy Elliott, who flagged his retirement last year after more than 32 years at the world’s third-largest miner. Lynch left BHP after being overlooked for the top job in 2007 and was chief executive of Australian toll road operator Transurban Group from 2008 to 2012, during which time he joined the board of Rio Tinto.