Aurubis AG, Europe’s largest copper producer, on Wednesday posted an 85% rise in quarterly earnings and raised its full year forecast, helped by strong demand and high metals prices.
Aurubis said in an advance of its earnings release that operating earnings before taxes (EBT) in the first quarter to end December rose to 152 million euros ($172 million) from 82 million a year previously.
It raised its full year operating EBT forecast to a range of 400 million to 500 million euros from 320-380 million euros previously.
“In the first quarter …Aurubis demonstrated a very good operating performance at the sites of its smelter network,” said CEO Roland Harings.
It achieved considerably higher revenues from sulphuric acid sales and improved metals earnings, especially for industrial metals copper, tin, nickel and zinc, with increased metal prices, said Harings.
Copper prices hit three-month highs in early January.
From January 1, 2022, Aurubis was also achieving roughly 10% higher treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for copper concentrates, Harings said.
Miners pay TC/RCs to smelters to process their copper concentrate (ore) into refined metal. Reuters reported in December that Chinese smelters are achieving higher TC/RCs on the year as copper demand rises.
Firm refining charges for recycling scrap materials, a significantly higher copper premium, stronger demand for copper products and substantially increased sulphuric acid prices will have a positive impact on the full-year result, Aurubis said.
“We also have a high level of hedging and countermeasures in place which will protect us to a great extent from the impact of increased energy costs,” a spokesperson added.
Aurubis will announce full first quarter results on Feb.7.
(By Michael Hogan; Editing by John Stonestreet)