March 3, 2010 / 11:15 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-HudBay Minerals profit down on weaker copper sales

* Q4 EPS C$0.05 vs year-before C$0.10

* Revenue hurt by weaker copper sales

TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - HudBay Minerals HBM.TO said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit fell 54 percent, hurt by declining copper sales and C$6.9 million in executive severance costs.

The Canadian base metals miner earned C$7.3 million ($7.1 million), or 5 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compared with a profit of C$15.8 million, or 10 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before quarter.

Revenue fell 7 percent to C$166.7 million due to declining copper cathode sales fell. The company said Chinese demand for scrap copper declined late in the year, while North American domestic demand remained weak, prompting HudBay to decide not to sell to the market.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, a profit of 20 Canadian cents per share, and revenue of C$193.3 million.

Instead, the company will sell most of the excess inventory along with new production in the first quarter of 2010.

HudBay’s base of operations is in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It also has U.S. assets and owns the Fenix nickel project in Guatemala.

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Gunna Dickson

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