UK's Vedanta core profit, revenue beat; says working to restart Indian plant

23 May 2018

British mining and energy conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc  reported better-than-expected growth in full-year core profit and revenue on Wednesday, driven by stronger commodity prices.

A rebound in metals prices has prompted the miner, controlled by billionaire Chairman Anil Agarwal, to expand production of zinc and aluminum, enabling continued recovery after being particularly hard-hit by a commodities slump.

Agarwal said Vedanta remained well-positioned to capitalize on India’s growing resources demand.

“I look forward to another strong year for the company,” Agarwal said in a statement.

The company also said it is working with regulators to expedite restarting its copper smelter in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, after nine people were killed on Tuesday when police fired at violent protesters calling for the plant’s closure.

The Thootukudi copper smelter, one of India’s biggest, is run by Indian subsidiary Vedanta Ltd’s (VDAN.NS) Sterlite Copper unit.

Demonstrations against the copper plant have been going on for more than three months, with protesters alleging that it is a major source of pollution and risk to fisheries, and have demanded the plant be shut permanently.

Vedanta, which produces iron ore, copper, aluminum, zinc and oil, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 27 percent to $4.1 billion for the year ended March 31, while revenue rose 33 percent $15.4 billion.

Analysts on average were estimating revenue of $15.09 billion and core earnings of $3.99 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.