Global metals demand picked up in Q3
Higher metals prices, especially silver, boosted earnings
220 million hit from planned maintenance shutdowns
Adds CEO quote, detail
STOCKHOLM, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Mining and smelting group Boliden BOL.ST reported quarterly earnings ahead of market forecasts on Wednesday as higher metal prices and increased milled production at its mines helped boost results.
Boliden's third-quarter operating profit rose to 2.62 billion Swedish crowns ($299.9 million) from 1.87 billion a year earlier, beating the 2.05 billion mean forecast in a Refinitiv poll of analyst estimates.
"Despite Covid-19, major maintenance stops have been carried out, investments have been put in place, and the production rate in Mines has increased," CEO Mikael Staffas said in a statement.
Operating profit, excluding revaluation of process inventory, was 2.26 billion crowns, up from 1.64 billion a year earlier, Boliden said.
The coronavirus pandemic meant demand was slightly down in metal-consuming countries, with a 2% drop in demand for zinc versus last year, the company said, adding that consumption had steadily increased in Q3 compared to earlier in the year.
However, the company said higher precious metal and copper prices had helped to boost earnings.
Operating profit in the Mines business increased to 1.64 billion compared to a 1.1 billion a year ago due to a higher production rate, while operating profit in the Smelting business was up to 835 million compared to 716 million a year ago.
The report includes a 130 million loss caused by a fire in the company's Kevitsa mines in Finland, with a further 220 million hit from planned maintenance shutdowns at various sites.
Milled production at the Garpenberg and Kevitsa mines reached new record levels, the company said, despite the maintenance shutdowns.
($1 = 8.7369 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard and Simon Johnson)
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