May 13, 2008 / 9:46 PM / in 10 years

First Quantum Minerals profit up on sales, prices

(In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals FM.TO said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit rose 54 percent as copper sales volumes and prices both rose.

The company, which said in April it would acquire Scandinavian Minerals SGL.TO for about C$280 million, earned $182 million, or $2.68 a share, in the three months ended March 31.

That was up from $78.3 million, or $1.16 a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected, on average, a profit of $3.14 a share, before exceptional items.

Quarterly revenue rose 95 percent to $511.5 million.

Copper production was 75,616 tonnes, up from 46,403 tonnes, while copper sales rose to 62,802 tonnes from 44,315 tonnes.

Realized copper prices were $3.51 a pound, up from $2.59 a pound in the year-before period, while cash costs per pound were 99 cents, down from $1.06. (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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