Updates from Antofagasta, Fresnillo and Computacenter
Overnight, Asian markets trended higher, though the Nikkei has now slipped, down -0.28%.
We commence with Antofagasta. Preliminary numbers for 2012 show a dip in pre-tax profits, down 10.5% to $2,754.2m. Group revenues climb +10.9% to $6,740.1m; earnings per share dips -16.5% to 104.7 cents. The combined interim and final dividend means a total shareholder distribution of US$971.1 million.
The balance sheet appears strong, claims the company, with cash (including liquid investments) of US$4.3 billion and net cash of US$2.4bn at 31 December 2012, supporting "significant" capital returns to shareholders.
"The Group," says ceo Diego Hernandez, "produced just under 710,000 tonnes of copper, which was ahead of our original forecast for the year of approximately 700,000 tonnes. This level of production was a record for the Group, and 10% higher than 2011."
Next, full year numbers for 2012 from Fresnillo. Adjusted revenue was $2.29bn in contrast to $2.31bn last year though profit for the year was cut 19% to US$845m. The hit on profit was, says the company, due to lower silver prices, anticipated lower ore grades at the Fresnillo mine, plus higher depreciation with higher exploration costs.
Fresnillo's balance sheet remains "strong" with no debt. Its board has declared a final dividend of 42.4 US cents per ordinary share in addition to the interim dividend of 15.5 US cents per share paid on 11 September 2012.
"We expect market volatility," says non-exec chairman Alberto Baillères, "to be a permanent factor in the environment in which we operate, given an increasingly complex and often imbalanced global economy. There is no certainty that the fundamentals will remain in place to support long-term demand for both silver and gold."
We finish with Computacentre. Pre-tax profits slip 4% to £71.3 million (2011: £74.2 million), though broadly flat in constant currency. Group revenues increased 2.2 per cent to £2.91 billion (2011: £2.85 billion), up 6.5 per cent in constant currency.
Computacenter claims "excellent" performance in the UK with adjusted operating profit increasing 40.2 per cent to £52.2 million driven by a strong contribution from new Services contracts.
"While the Group financial outcome for 2013," says boss Mike Norris, will be dependent on the in-year performance of Germany and the speed at which we recover from our problem contracts, which is unpredictable, we are confident that these contracts will improve."