May 7, 2008 / 1:03 PM / 10 years ago

High dollar, lower zinc price hurts HudBay profit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - HudBay Minerals HBM.TO said that first-quarter profit fell nearly 66 percent, as it was stung by a stronger Canadian dollar, shipping delays, higher operating costs and a slumping zinc price.

The Canadian zinc and copper producer said late on Tuesday that it earned C$21.6 million, or 17 Canadian cents a share, down sharply from C$63.1 million, or 50 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Revenue in the quarter declined 22 percent to C$271.6 million.

The company produced 19,272 tonnes of copper in the quarter, down 11 percent from 21,724 tonnes in the 2007 quarter, while zinc production increased 10.5 percent to 34,710 tonnes.

Operating cash flow was C$70.7 million, less than half the C$142.5 million from the year-ago period. The cash position at March 31 was C$781 million.

The company plans to spend C$43 million on exploration in 2008, an increase from C$41 million in 2007.

($1=$1 Canadian)

Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Scott Anderson

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