MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Xstrata heaps up profits and digs into Colombia

Published by MAC on 2006-03-01

Xstrata heaps up profits and digs into Colombia

by FT Investor

1st March 2006

Xstrata (LSE: XTA.L - news) promised more alchemy in 2006 as it reported a 71 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for 2005 of $2.46bn and unveiled the acquisition of a $1.7bn stake in the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia, taking it into the expanding US coal market.

Investors will benefit from a 42 per cent rise in the total dividend to 34 cents.

Mick Davis, chief executive, attributed the Swiss-based, London-listed miner's rise in
profits to three factors: high commodity prices; shrewd acquisitions and project investments as those prices began to take off; and cost control in the face of high energy and construction metals prices.

Shares in Xstrata were 1.2 per cent higher at £16.86 in early trade in London on Wednesday.

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