Sumitomo Metal lifts FY profit forecast on higher gold prices

Sumitomo Metal lifts FY profit forecast on higher gold prices
Mining News Pro - Sumitomo Metal Mining reported a 73% drop in first-quarter profit on Monday, but lifted its full-year profit outlook by 26% thanks to stronger-than-expected gold prices and one-off gains from a weaker yen.

Net profit is now forecast at 53 billion yen ($373 million) for the year to March 31, 2024, up from its May guidance of 42 billion yen, although the revised figure still is down 67% from last year’s 161 billion yen.

“Higher-than-expected gold prices and appraisal gains on inventories due to the yen’s depreciation are expected to boost our earnings in the mineral resource segment,” a company spokesperson said.

Net profit for the April-June quarter declined to 20.7 billion yen from 76.5 billion yen a year earlier, hit by sagging nickel and copper prices.

Nickel prices in the quarter fell 23% from a year earlier to $10.16 per pound while copper prices slipped 11% to $8,478 per metric ton. Gold prices, meanwhile, rose 6% to $1,978 per troy ounce. The yen has weakened against the U.S. dollar to 137.37 from 129.58 a year earlier.

Sumitomo Metal also supplies the nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) cathode materials for Panasonic lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla electric vehicles.

Sales of materials used in automotive batteries rose in the first quarter, the company said, but lower metals prices and slow Chinese demand for electronic components for devices such as smartphones and tablet computers eroded its profit in the materials segment.

“Demand for battery materials will increase amid growing environmental concerns, but a recovery in functional materials will likely be delayed until next year due to prolonged inventory adjustments and sluggish demand in China,” Mihoko Yano, Sumitomo Metal’s executive officer, told a news conference.

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