Vedanta H1 operating profit down to $490 million despite higher sales

Mining conglomerate Vedanta Group today reported an operating profit of $490 for fiscal first-half (April-September 2009-10) on revenues of close to $3.0 billion. Attributable profit was $188.2 million, a 37.5 per cent share of net income, the group said in release.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the six months stood at $746 million as higher volumes were offset by lower realisations across all our operations, the group said in a release.

London-listed Vedanta said basic earnings per share EPS stood at 68.5 US cents supporting interim dividend proposed at 17.5 US cents per share. Vedanta said its return on capital employed (excluding project capital work in progress) continues to be strong at 19 per cent (annualised).

The group generated $233.2 million of free cash flow, reflecting the continued investment in working capital to support the growth in the business, the release said.

"I am pleased to report robust results, which demonstrate the inherent strength of our business against the backdrop of challenging markets. We have grown volumes, maintained investment, reduced costs and generated strong returns. We have a strong balance sheet and we have demonstrated our ability to finance our dynamic growth pipeline. We continue to rigorously pursue operational excellence, strengthening our cost positions as we pursue profitable growth, and we are excited at the tremendous potential for Indian demand," Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources plc, said.

Vedanta Group invested $1.79 billion in expansion in what it said, "will be the peak year for the current organic growth programme." The group also raised $3.35 billion during the 2010 financial year by issuing equity and convertible bonds.