Vedanta Resources Q3 revenue down 3% at $3.45b

Mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources today reported a 3 per cent fall in revenues to $3.45 billion for the quarter ended December 2013, primarily due to decline in income in the zinc and aluminium businesses.

However, its core profits or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 3 per cent to $1.141 billion in the last quarter vis-a-vis $1.111 billion of Q3FY'13, it said in a statement.

The company, which has interests in areas like copper, zinc, aluminium and iron ore, among others, spanning over seven countries, had clocked $3.575 billion revenue in the same quarter last fiscal.

Copper contributed the highest to the company's revenue kitty at $1.389 billion, followed by oil and gas at $804 million.

Revenue from the zinc business was down 14 per cent to $666.7 million, followed by aluminium at $419.7 million, down 10 per cent.

Iron ore, which used to be one of the major revenue earners for Vedanta, accounted for only $45.9 million as operations remained closed for most of the quarter due to a mining ban in Goa and non-resumption of operation in Karantaka.

Vedanta, which operates the business through Sesa Sterlite, resumed operations at the Karnataka mine on December 28, 2013 after securing clearance from the Supreme Court and other statutory clearances. The company's production capacity has been reduced to 2.29 million tonnes annually.

It is "ramping up production (of the Karantaka mine) to a run-rate of around 0.5 MT per month, and we expect to commence sales through auction shortly," the company said.

The company said its average daily crude oil production, managed by subsidiary Cairn India, rose 10 per cent to 2,24,495 barrels of oil equivalent (BoE). Of this, production from the prolific Barmer oil field in Rajasthan accounted for 1,86,361 BoE per day, up 10 per cent.

The Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha, which is running at reduced capacity due to paucity of bauxite, has ramped up well and produced 1,81,000 tonnes in the third quarter.

The refinery had a capacity utilisation of 72 per cent and is "expected to further increase in the current quarter", the company said, though it did not specify from where the bauxite will be sourced to feed the refinery.

Revenues from the power business stood at $132.3 million.

Production of integrated refined zinc was up 17 per cent in the last quarter due to improved operational efficiencies at the smelters, the company said.

It added that mined metal production is expected at around 900 kilo tonnes in the current fiscal, "reflecting slower than expected ramp up of underground mining project and some change in mining sequence wherein preference has been given to primary mine development during this period".

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