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Inmet earnings slip despite higher sales

Keywords: Tags  Inmet Mining, copper, zinc, earnings report, Las Cruces Mine, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — Inmet Mining Corp. posted 2012 net income of $331.2 million, down 1.7 percent from $337.1 million the previous year despite an 18.6-percent jump in sales to more than $1.12 billion.

The Toronto-based company’s copper output rose 31.7 percent to 111,700 tonnes last year from 84,800 tonnes in 2011 as its Las Cruces Mine in Spain achieved a consistent monthly output of 6,000 tonnes since April. However, zinc production fell 17.5 percent to 66,300 tonnes from 80,400 tonnes.

Fourth-quarter net income dropped 16.7 percent to $38.8 million from $46.5 million in the same period a year earlier despite an 11.3-percent increase in sales to nearly $259.9 million. Inmet’s fourth-quarter copper production increased 5.3 percent to 27,600 tonnes from 26,200 tonnes a year earlier, while its zinc production rose 15.6 percent to 20,700 tonnes from 17,900 tonnes.

The company expects global copper supply to increase slightly in 2013 and says that zinc supply and demand should see small upticks this year.

However, production from new operations and improvements at existing mines could be offset by the risk of mine underperformance, delays to existing or new development projects, and possible labor disruptions, the company said.

The company forecast continued strong copper demand from China and a recovery in Europe and the United States this year.

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