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Corporate May 17, 2012

What mining ban? Vedanta's Cairn deal boosts core profits

India-focused miner Vedanta posted a 13 percent rise in full-year core profit, as its zinc operations and recently acquired oil producer Cairn India helped offset the impact of a regional mining ban on its key iron ore operations.

The London-listed miner is in the throes of a simplification of its byzantine structure, which will see it place all but one of its subsidiaries under the umbrella of a single operating unit. The company said it was on track to complete the overhaul by the end of the calendar year.

Diversified mining group Vedanta Resources saw robust growth in revenue in the year to the end of March and said that it remains well-positioned to benefit from strong demand in emerging markets in the future.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to just above $4 billion, in line with analyst expectations, though its core profit margin, excluding custom smelting, dipped to 40.6 per cent from 44.6 per cent.

London-listed Vedanta took a majority stake in Cairn India late last year in an $8.7 billion deal, buying most of the stake from Cairn Energy. Core profit from Cairn - $713 million - accounted for the bulk of the group-level increase.

Underlying attributable profit after tax, however, fell 46 per cent due to lower attributable profit from subsidiaries andhigher interest costs after the Cairn deal, but again met forecasts at just over $387 million.

Vedanta last month posted a drop in its full-year iron ore output, hit by a ban on mining in Karnataka and logistical bottlenecks in nearby Goa that dented one of its key profit contributors.

Reuters

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