April 21, 2008 / 11:07 PM / in 10 years

Teck Cominco profit dips on weak zinc, coal results

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 21 (Reuters) - Teck Cominco Ltd’s TCKb.TO first-quarter profit dipped 4 percent on weaker results from zinc operations and lower coal prices, the diversified Canadian miner said on Monday.

Teck Cominco earned C$345 million ($343 million), or 78 Canadian cents a share, down from year-earlier C$360 million, or 83 Canadian cents a share.

The company said its net results were also hit by the stronger Canadian dollar. On average, analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expected Teck to earn 83 Canadian cents a share, before exceptional items.

Revenue in the quarter rose to C$1.57 billion, from C$1.34 billion a year ago, Teck said.

The company produced 45,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in the quarter, down from 53,000 tonnes in the comparable period, while zinc in concentrate production was up at 175,000 tonnes from 167,000 tonnes.

Coal output was 3 million tonnes, gold output was 66 million ounces.

Last week, Teck said it would boost its pipeline of copper and molybdenum with the purchase of junior Global Copper Corp GLQ.TO. If the bid is successful, Teck would acquire the Relincho deposit in Chile, and spin off the rest of the miner as a new public company.

With global demand for metals strong, Teck also struck a deal last month to extend its option to participate in developing the giant Petaquilla copper project in Panama, which is expected to cost $3.5 billion to build.

Teck painted an upbeat picture about its finances for the rest of the year, saying it would benefit from copper prices it expects to remain high and a significant increase in steel-making coal prices that too effect April 1.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Jeffrey Jones, Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson

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