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Antofagasta's H1 net profit drops YOY to US$194.3M as costs rise

Antofagasta PLC said Aug. 14 that first-half net profit dropped to US$194.3 million from US$290.5 million in the year-ago period. EPS came in at 19.8 U.S. cents, down from 29.5 cents a year ago.

Group revenue increased 3.6% yearly to US$2.12 billion, with revenue from copper concentrate and copper cathode sales increasing 2.3% to US$1.77 billion as higher realized prices offset 8.6%-lower copper sales volumes of 283,300 tonnes.

Operating costs at the company's mining division rose by US$230.1 million to US$1.22 billion in the half, up 23.2%, mainly due to higher mine-site operating costs. This reflected a stronger Chilean peso, higher input costs, additional costs at Encuentro Oxides, and one-off signing bonuses paid at Los Pelambres from labor negotiations.

EBITDA in the half recorded a 16.2% drop to US$904.2 million. CapEx came in at US$422.0 million, comprising 42% of the unchanged full-year guidance of US$1.0 billion.

The Chile-focused miner declared an interim dividend of 6.8 cents per share, falling from 10.3 cents per share a year ago.

Copper production sank 8.5% year over year to 317,000 tonnes, resulting from lower grades mined at its operations.

Net debt rose US$320.7 million from the end of 2017 to US$781.2 million.