May 4, 2010 / 10:02 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-HudBay returns to profit on rising prices

* Q1 EPS C$0.24 vs est C$0.15

* Revenue rises 49 pct on higher metals prices

* Stronger Canadian dollar hurts results

TORONTO, May 4 (Reuters) - HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) swung to a first-quarter profit from a year-before loss, it said on Tuesday, helped by rebounding prices for copper and zinc, but held back by the stronger Canadian dollar.

The Canadian base metals miner earned C$23.6 million ($23.1 million), or 15 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. That compared with a year-before loss of C$4.0 million, or 3 Canadian cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, a profit of 24 Canadian cents a share.

Revenue rose 49 percent to C$240.3 million due to sharply higher copper and zinc prices. The stronger Canadian currency hurt the results by raising the company’s primarily Canadian dollar-denominated costs.

Ore production fell 15 percent due to the suspension of operations at the Chisel North zinc mine, which was shut due to weak demand.

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

The company, which had a cash position of C$910 million at the end of the quarter, has been searching for a permanent chief executive since Peter Jones stepped down at the end of last year. Warren Holmes has been serving as acting CEO.

HudBay has been mentioned as a possible buyer for Anglo American’s (AAL.L) $1 billion-plus zinc business.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson

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