Norilsk Nickel IFRS net profit up 140% in H1

Norilsk Nickel IFRS net profit up 140% in H1

Net profit at Russian mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel , according to the company’s IFRS report, increased 140% year-on-year from $974 million in the first half of 2005
to $2.367 billion in the same period this year, which was much higher than forecast by analysts.

According to a consensus forecast from analysts at eight investment banks surveyed by Interfax, the company’s net profit was expected to amount to $1.771 billion.

Most analysts did not include in Norilsk Nickel net profit the $933 million profit received from the sale of a 20% stake in South Africa’s Gold Fields.

In the first half of 2006 Norilsk Nickel revenue from metal sales increased 28% year-on-year to $4.191 billion due to price growth for non-ferrous and precious metals, which was lower than the $4.45 billion forecast by analysts.

Main Norilsk Nickel IFRS results (million dollars): Result H1 2006 H1 2005 Revenue 4191 3273 Cost of metals sold (1375) (1402) Gross profit 2816 1871 Operating profit 2305 1403 Pretax profit 1851 1352

Reporting period profit 2367 974

The company also said that its board of directors had recommended a dividend of 59 rubles a share for the first nine months of 2006 and that it had had decided to buy back 7.5 million or 3.93% of its shares at 3,510 rubles a share.

Shareholders can tender their shares for repurchase between October 16 and November 16 inclusive. The shares will be repurchased between November 17 and December 17.

Shareholders registered as of October 5 will be entitled to vote on the interim dividend in a postal ballot on November 24.

Norilsk Nickel has 190,627,747 issued shares, par value 1 ruble each. Mikhail Prokhorov, the CEO of Norilsk Nickel, and Vladimir Potanin, head of the Interros holding, each control 27.4% of the shares.

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