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Kazakhmys profit more than doubles on copper surge

LONDON. March 15. KAZINFORM. - Kazakhmys Plc, Kazakhstan's biggest copper producer, said second-half profit more than doubled after a surge in prices for the metal used in wires and plumbing. Net income rose to $767 million from $312.7 million a year earlier. Profit was calculated by subtracting first-half earnings from full-year figures reported today by London-based Kazakhmys. The company will pay a final dividend of 25.7 cents a share. The rally in copper has helped shares of Kazakhmys double since the initial public offering in 2005. Vladimir Kim, the company's chairman and largest shareholder, plans to diversify Kazakhmys's operations and reduce its reliance on one commodity. Kazakhmys's outlook for copper “points to continued price strength,” said Jeremy Gray, an analyst in London at Credit Suisse Group, in a note. “We were hoping to hear more on other potential deals in nickel, zinc, iron ore and copper.” The company said its advisers are in “the advanced stages” of valuing Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., a Kazakh mining company. Kim has an ”economic interest” of about 19 percent in ENRC's assets, Kazakhmys said. Last week, Kazakhmys agreed to buy Dostan-Temir LLP, a company with the rights to explore for oil and gas in the west of Kazakhstan. Kazakhmys didn't say how much it will pay, Kazinform refers to Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, Bloomberg. Shares of Kazakhmys rose 5 pence, or 0.5 percent, to 1,094 pence as of 8:37 a.m. in London. They have gained 11 percent in the past 12 months, valuing the company at 5.1 billion pounds ($9.9 billion). The 10-member Bloomberg Europe Metals & Mining Index has gained 11 percent. Production of copper cathode, a finished form of the metal, increased 4.7 percent to 405,000 metric tons last year, Kazakhmys said. Zinc metal production gained 17 percent to 59,500 tons and silver rose 5 percent to 21.6 million ounces. The company said full-year net income more than doubled to $1.4 billion, or $2.99 a share. That missed the $1.54 billion mean of four analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg yesterday and March 13. Sales jumped 94 percent to $5.05 billion last year.


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