Trafigura bullish on strong results, hands $885m to top executives

Trafigura bullish on strong results, hands $885 to top executives

Storage domes and conveyor belts at Trafigura's MATSA mine – Andalucia, Spain.

Swiss commodity trading house Trafigura believes current weak commodity prices are likely to boost growth in the global economy, and that China continues to hold a key role as a consumer of raw materials.

The positive outlook, part of the trader’s annual report published Monday, is based on Trafigura improved operating profits registered this year, despite difficult market conditions.

The firm said core earnings jumped 13% to $1.309 billion in the fiscal year to September 2014. Gross profit rose on a like-for-like basis by 14% to $2.045 billion.

Revenue in 2014 totalled $127.6 billion, slightly less (-0.4%) than the previous fiscal year.

The company also revealed it handed $885 million to its senior executives and employees in the past year by repurchasing their shares.

Trading volumes in oil and petroleum products grew 2% to 120.4 million metric tons. Volumes in minerals and metals climbed 49% to 49.1 million tons, as Trafigura became one of the three largest traders of coal.

Chief executive Jeremy Weir qualified the trader’s results as a “creditable performance in challenging trading conditions.”

“We remain focused on creating a business diversified by geography, product, customers and financing that is resilient through the widest variety of economic and business circumstances,” he added in the statement.

Trafigura was founded in 1993 by a group of senior brokers — including Claude Dauphin, now executive chairman — who quit Marc Rich & Co. This firm became after a management buyout, what it is now Glencore (LON:GLEN).