May 24, 2017 / 7:37 AM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Vedanta Resources FY core profit rises less than expected

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May 24 (Reuters) - Mining and energy group Vedanta Resources Plc on Wednesday posted a 36.6 percent rise in its full-year core profit, driven by firmer commodity prices, but failed to meet analyst expectations.

The company said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $3.19 billion for the year ended March 31, missing analysts’ average estimate of $3.25 billion.

Shares of the company, which produces iron ore, copper, aluminium, zinc and oil, were down 1.6 percent to 626.45 pence in early trade on the London Stock Exchange.

Vedanta bounced back this year after it had been hit hard by falling commodities prices that have added to the pressure the company is facing due to its immense debt pile.

“I am optimistic that the improvement in commodity markets we have experienced this year may be with us for the foreseeable future,” Chairman Anil Agarwal said in a statement.

“Prices in copper, aluminium, zinc, iron ore, oil and gas (markets) have all shown a strong recovery last year, so we approach FY2018 with a cautious optimism and a continuing discipline in our capital allocation.”

Vedanta announced a final dividend of 35 cents per share, bring the total dividend for the year to 55 cents per share, 83 percent higher than the total payout last year.

The company also said its search for a chief executive to replace Tom Albanese is well underway. In March, the company said it extended Albanese’s contract by five months until the end of August.

Revenue rose 7.3 percent to $11.52 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $11.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earlier this month, Vedanta Ltd, the Indian unit of diversified energy group Vedanta Resources, reported a quarterly profit compared with a year-ago loss, helped by improved commodity prices and higher zinc volumes. (Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Tenzin Pema)

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