StockMarketWire.com - Mining company Antofagasta reported a rise in profit as increased copper and gold sales supported revenue growth, and partially offset falling copper prices.

The company also said it was considering cutting capital expenditure amid the impact on global growth from the COVID-19 virus.

The review process was underway and the revised capital expenditure estimate was expected to be in the range of $1.3-to-$1.5bn, down from $1.5bn previously. For 2019, pre-tax profit rose to $1.35bn from $1.25bn on-year as revenue increased 4.9% to $4.96bn During the year, copper production increased by 6.2% to 770,000 tonnes, driven mainly by higher production at Centinela, and also at Los Pelambres and Zaldívar mines, the company said. Gold production rose 34.4% 282,300 ounces and molybdenum production decreased by 14.7% to 11,600 tonnes. The company declared a final dividend of 23.4 cents per share, taking its full year dividend to 34.1 cents, below last year's 43.8 cents. 'Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, while we can't predict the shape of the recovery from COVID-19, Antofagasta is in good shape,' the company said. 'We expect to maintain our strong safety and operating performance with copper production in the range of 725,000-to-755,000 tonnes at a net cash cost of $1.30 per pound, as guided previously.'



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