Teck quarterly profit lifted by coal business

Thu Feb 9, 2012 6:45am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Canadian miner Teck Resources TCK.N TCKb.TO reported a sharp increase in its fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, on the back of higher coal prices.

Net income rose to C$637 million, or C$1.08 a share, from C$325 million, or 55 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier, when a one-time financing item weighed down results.

Excluding one-time items, earnings increased to C$1.04 a share from 87 Canadian cents.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Teck is one of the world's top exporters of metallurgical coal, which is used to produce steel. The company, which owns mines spread across Canada, the United States, Chile and Peru, is also a large producer of copper and zinc.

Quarterly revenue rose 9.4 percent to C$2.97 billion, as a 27 percent increase in coal prices helped offset declines in the prices of copper, zinc and lead.

Gross profit from Teck's coal business rose 42 percent to C$781 million, even though prices have pulled back from record levels hit earlier in 2011. The company said it had realized an average coal price of US$253 per tonne in the fourth quarter.

Teck said it had already reached agreements with its customers to sell 5.3 million tonnes of coal in the first quarter at an average price of US$230 per tonne. The company expects to conclude additional sales over the course of the quarter.

CAUTIOUS OUTLOOK

Teck said it was still experiencing volatile markets for its products, as the uncertainty over economic conditions in Europe continues to have an effect on the global economy.   Continued...