Aurubis AG generated operating earnings before taxes (EBT) of 28 million euro (141 million euro in the previous year) during the first half of fiscal year 2013/14. Aurubis recorded an operating loss (EBT) of 2.5 million euro in the first quarter. The improvement in earnings during the second quarter was primarily due to higher treatment and refining charges for copper concentrates, a recovery in the markets for our main products, rod and shapes, and the higher cathode premium at the beginning of the calendar year. Weak sulfuric acid demand, which led to low prices, and low refining charges for recycling materials continued to strain earnings.
Weak metal pricdes
The Aurubis Group’s revenues fell to 5,734 million euro (6,708 million euro in the previous year) during the first half of fiscal year 2013/14 due to the weak metal prices. Compared to the prior year, the average prices in the first half-year were about ten per cent lower for copper, 23 per cent lower for gold and 34 per cent lower for silver. The cash flow was excellent during the first half-year. The net cash flow amounted to 346 million euro (28 million euro in the previous year).
The physical cathode shortage reflected in the high current spot cathode premiums will likely continue as the year goes on. Market uncertainties, especially in China, will lead to a sideways trend in the copper price. Good mine output ensures high treatment and refining charges for copper concentrates. This was evident in the rise in benchmark TC/RCs from US$ 70/t / 7 cents/lb to US$ 92/t / 9.2 cents/lb at the beginning of the calendar year. The higher cathode premium in Europe since the beginning of the calendar year will also positively affect earnings.
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