Q1 adjusted EBIT 2.45 bln SEK
Plans to increase capacity at Kristineberg mine
Says elevated pandemic risks remain as maintenance beckons
Adds detail, background
STOCKHOLM, April 27 (Reuters) - Swedish mining and smelting group Boliden BOL.ST said on Tuesday that risks linked to the spread of COVID-19 remained high as it reported a jump in first-quarter profits on the back of higher metal prices.
Operating profit rose to 2.78 billion crowns ($332 million) from 1.44 billion a year earlier, against analyst expectations of 2.57 billion according to Refinitiv SmartEstimates. Excluding an earlier announced revaluation of process inventory, operating profit was 2.45 billion crowns.
The operator of mines and smelters in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Ireland had warned earlier in April that increased sick leave due to COVID-19 infections and production disruptions at two mines would have a negative effect of 300 million crowns in the quarter.
"While the company is planning for normal business operations during future quarters, elevated risks linked to the effects of COVID-19 remain," the company said on Tuesday.
"As of the second quarter of 2021, upcoming maintenance shutdowns constitute a particular hazard in this respect," it added.
It said in a separate statement it planned to invest 1.25 billion crowns in increasing capacity at its Kristineberg mine in Sweden.
($1 = 8.3874 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Helena Soderpalm and Niklas Pollard)
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