Diversified mining group Vedanta Resources saw robust growth in revenue in the year to the end of March after achieving record production of several key commodity classes.
The firm said it saw strong demand throughout the year, despite the "volatile global market conditions", helped by economic growth and urbanisation in emerging economies, which account for approximately 80% of group revenues. "The outlook for natural resources remains robust: industrialisation and urbanisation in China and India and other emerging economies continues to drive demand and Vedanta is well-positioned to serve these markets."
Revenue increased by 22.6% from $11,427.2m to $14,005.3m in the year ended March 31st, slightly below the consensus forecast of $14,172m.
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The group's output of refined zinc, lead, silver, power, aluminium, alumina reached a record high and increased contributions from the recent acquisitions of Zinc International (acquired in 2010-11 fiscal year from Anglo American) and Cairn India (59% stake bought for $8.67bn last year) "were the key drivers of our strong operational performance as our growth projects started to yield results."
Notably, Cairn India saw production increase by 21% to an average 172,887 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) gross.
Commodity prices were mixed during the period, as strong rises across the board in the first half corrected in the second half. "Prices for silver moved up substantially, iron ore showed a healthy increase, zinc prices fell and copper, aluminium and lead were marginally ahead of the previous year. Oil price increased over the year," the group said.
However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew at a slower rate, up 12.9% from $3,566.8m to $4,026.3m, as growth was limited by higher operating costs and increased export duty rates on iron ore. Underlying attributable profit - including special items and other gains and losses - dropped by 45.8% from $715.3m to $387.2m, owing to lower attributable profit from its subsidiaries.
"This has been a transformational year for the group, in which we completed the Cairn India acquisition, announced the consolidation of the group, and delivered strong production growth. We are one of the largest diversified natural resources companies globally, and with our growth projects largely completed, are well placed to continue this strong growth," according to Chairman Anil Agarwal.
The final dividend was raised by 8% to 35 cents, taking the total dividend for the year up 5% to 55 cents. Net debt surged from $1.97bn to $10.1bn during the period, reflecting the $8.67bn investment in Cairn India.
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