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Southern Copper Says Peru Profit Up on Metal Prices (Update2)
Jul 29,2010 08:57CST
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July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Southern Copper Corp., the largest producer of the metal in Peru, said profit from its operations in the South American country rose 93 percent in the second quarter after copper prices surged.

Profit excluding the company's Mexican mines rose to $271.6 million from $140.6 million in the year-earlier period, the Phoenix-based company said today in a regulatory filing.

Sales increased to $738.2 million from $475.2 million as New York-traded copper futures averaged $3.19 per pound, 51 percent higher in the quarter than a year earlier, the company said. Average silver prices rose 33 percent to $18.35 per ounce, it said.

"It was a solid quarter for Southern Copper thanks to prices," Daniel Mori, a mining analyst at Lima-based brokerage SAB Centura, said in a telephone interview before the results were released. "The company got the full benefit of prices as it doesn't have any significant hedging."

Copper futures for September delivery fell 1.65 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.2065 a pound today on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Southern Copper declined 92 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $31.22 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has gained 22 percent in the past year. The earnings report was released after the close of regular trading.

Copper output fell 3 percent to 184.4 million pounds in the quarter as ore grades declined at the Cuajone and Toquepala mines in Peru, the company said.

Southern said it invested $134.5 million in the quarter in expansion plans that aim to add 60,000 metric tons to annual copper production.

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