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Rising zinc output helps lift miner Vedanta's first-half profit

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Rising zinc output helps lift miner Vedanta's first-half profit

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(Reuters) – Diversified miner Vedanta Resources <VED.L> announced a 37.4 percent rise in half-year profit on Friday, buoyed by rising commodity prices and higher zinc and aluminium output. Vedanta, which is currently searching for a new chief executive after the departure of Tom Albanese in August, has been recovering after being hard hit by the commodities slump. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $1.69 billion (1.29 billion pounds) in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $1.23 billion, a year ago. The company, which mines zinc in India, South Africa and Namibia, reported a near 80 percent jump in operating profit from its zinc business, helped by a 42.1 percent jump in total zinc content mined in India. Zinc prices rose by more than a third on average in the six months to Sept. 30. Vedanta also forecast higher mined zinc production for the full year ending March. The company, whose Indian unit acquired oil and gas assets in India and South Africa by taking over Cairn India Ltd earlier this year, said it was investing more to explore its oil & gas assets and has a near-term production target of 275,000-300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company’s total aluminium production also rose more than 39 percent while average prices for aluminium have jumped about 23 percent in the period.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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