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Tianqi Lithium swings to loss in Q3'19 on higher finance costs

China's Tianqi Lithium Corp. posted a net loss of 53.9 million Chinese yuan for its third quarter, for a loss of 5 fen per share, swinging from a net profit of 379.7 million yuan it posted a year earlier, according to a statement.

The company said its finance costs during the period increased by 5.6 times to 1.65 billion yuan from 248.9 million yuan due to interest payments for bank loans after it acquired a 24% stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA in 2018.

Tianqi's operating revenues were down 17.8% year over year at 1.21 billion yuan, compared with 1.47 billion yuan in the year-ago period.

In the first nine months of year, Tianqi's net profit attributable to shareholders dropped 91.7% year over year to 139.5 million yuan and operating revenues fell by 20.2% year over year to 3.80 billion yuan.

The company said it expects its full-year earnings to see a yearly drop of a range between 94.6% and 96.4%, to 80 million yuan to 120 million yuan, due to decreased lithium prices, increased financial expenses and losses caused by depreciated yuan as it had a large amount of liabilities in foreign currencies.

As of Oct. 22, US$1 was equivalent to 7.08 Chinese yuan.