Teck Resources fought against lower metals prices to post record revenues for the first quarter.
The Vancouver-based diversified miner (TSX:TCK.B) said it earned $2.5 billion in Q1 compared to $2.3 billion a year ago. Profit attributable to shareholders was $218 million versus $461 million in the first quarter of 2011. Adjusted profit excluding the impact of a debt refinancing was $504 million, or 86 cents a share, against $450 million a year ago, or 76 cents per share.
“Our strong first quarter results demonstrate continued solid operating performance and the successful execution of our ongoing expansion programs, particularly in coal,” President and CEO Don Lindsay said in a statement.
Coal production increased 46% to 6.3 million tonnes, bettering the production number in the first quarter of 2011 when Teck was dealing with a strike at the company’s Elkview mine in British Columbia as well as bad weather.
Gross profits from coal, before depreciation and amortization, were up $168 million due to an 8% lift in coking coal prices.
Metals mined by Teck, on the other hand, were mostly down quarter to quarter. Copper dropped 14%, zinc and molybdenum were down a respective 16% and 18%, and lead was off 19%
Copper revenues were down from the last quarter ($753 million vs $773 million) while revenues from zinc were up ($595 million vs $574 million).
Teck was trending up about 2% on the Toronto main board on Wednesday.
Earlier this year Teck splashed CAD$435 million to acquire SilverBirch Energy Corp. with its Frontier and Equinox oilsands projects in northern Alberta, as well as the nearby Twin Lakes property.
The deal also spun out a new junior firm called SilverWillow Energy Corp to handle early-stage projects.
“The move also expands Teck’s oilsands business and allows it to use the truck-and-shovel open-pit mining expertise it’s honed from mining coal, copper and zinc,” Canadian Press reports.