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Antofagasta's FY'18 earnings down on higher mining costs

Antofagasta PLC said March 19 its earnings attributable to shareholders for 2018 fell to US$543.7 million from US$750.6 million the year before.

EPS fell 27.7% to 55.1 U.S. cents, and EBITDA fell 13.9% to US$2.23 billion due to higher unit cash costs, increased exploration and evaluation expenditures, and mine closure provisions.

Revenue for the year slid 0.3% to US$4.73 billion, reflecting a decrease in the realized copper price offset by higher copper sales volumes and higher molybdenum revenue.

Operating costs at the company's mining division increased 12.7% to $2.51 billion in 2018. Of this increase, US$259.7 million was attributable to higher minesite operating costs.

The company declared a final dividend of 37.0 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 43.8 cents per share, a 13.9% decrease from 2017's payout.

Capital expenditure stood at US$872.8 million, falling 2.9% from 2017 and less than the US$1 billion originally guided.

In January, the company reported that its full-year 2018 copper production climbed 3% year over year to 725,300 tonnes, hitting the top end of revised guidance on the back of strong results at the Los Pelambres mine and the Oxide and Sulfide operations at Centinela in Chile.