MOSCOW, Oct. 19 -- OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest producer of nickel and palladium, said first-half profit fell 84 percent after metal prices declined in line with a downturn in the global economy.
Net income dropped to $419 million, or $2.40 a share, from $2.69 billion, or $14.20, a year earlier, Moscow-based Norilsk said today in a statement on its Web site. Profit exceeded the $338 million median estimate of four analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Sales declined to $4.08 billion from $8.31 billion.
Debt due to be repaid within a year jumped to $2.91 billion from $872 million a year earlier, Norilsk said. Long-term borrowing fell to $3.21 billion from $5.57 billion.
Nickel, which accounts for more than half of Norilsk's metal sales, averaged $12,900 a metric ton in London in the first six months of this year, compared with $28,138 a year earlier. Copper, Norilsk's second-biggest revenue earner, averaged $3,288 in the first half, compared with $6,886 a ton a year earlier.