HAMBURG -Aurubis AG, Europe’s largest copper producer, on Monday confirmed an 85% rise in quarterly profits and reiterated increased full-year earnings estimates as high metal prices and strong output boosted results.
Aurubis reaffirmed operating earnings before taxes (operating EBT) in the first quarter of its 2021/22 financial year ending Dec. 31 of 152 million euros ($173.75 million), from 82 million euros in the year-ago quarter.
The company made an advance earning release on Jan. 19.
Aurubis confirmed its new forecast of full year 2021/22 operating EBT of between 400 million and 500 million euros, up from between 320 million and 380 million euros previously forecast.
“In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, we once again benefited from the very good market conditions, both for sulfuric acid and in the markets for the industrial metals copper, tin, nickel, and zinc,” Chief Executive Officer Roland Harings said.
“This was reinforced by the very good operating performance from our plants at the sites of the Aurubis smelter network.”
Aurubis said it expects an increasing supply of copper concentrates (ore) in 2022 with higher treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) and good supplies of scrap metal.
Miners pay TC/RCs to smelters to process concentrate into refined metal. Benchmark TC/RCs for 2022 have risen about 9% on the year, Aurubis said.
“The spot (TC/RC) price is currently at benchmark level,” Aurubis said. “Thanks to our core expertise in processing complex concentrates, we expect Aurubis to achieve TC/RCs above the benchmark.”
Demand for copper products is expected to continue growing this year, with a higher premium for metal sales.
Copper wire rod demand continues to be positive in Europe and elsewhere.
“Aurubis continues to expect high demand from the electrical industry, the automotive industry, and the construction and infrastructure sector in calendar year 2022,” it said. “Demand for shapes is expected to be at a high level in the coming fiscal year as well.”
In May or June, Aurubis will undertake a planned maintenance shutdown at its largest smelter in Hamburg, but smelter availabilty will be overall up on the year.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by Miranda Murray and Shailesh Kuber)