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Norilsk Nickel's net profit fell 13.3% in 3Q05

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MOSCOW, November 16 (RIA Novosti) - Leading Russian metals company Norilsk Nickel said Wednesday its net profit had declined by 13.3% in the third quarter of 2005, year on year, to 14.5 billion rubles (about $509 million).

The company's net profit fell after its revenues from the sale of metals dropped by 10% while the prime cost of its output fell by only 6.6%.

"The company's revenues fell due to the unfavorable world nickel market situation (nickel prices were down by almost 4%) and the low ruble/dollar rate," the company said in a statement. "Also, the volume of sales of nickel declined by 14.7% and copper by 12.6%. The company intends to compensate for this shortfall in the next quarter."

The company's revenues from metals sales (excluding the value-added tax, excise duties and other compulsory payments) were down 2% on 2Q05 to 39.6 billion rubles (about $1.4 billion) and sales profit declined 8.1% to 23.2 billion rubles (about $814 million).

The company said its core output was profitable in the reporting period, but the rate of return was down 4% on the previous quarter to 57.16%.

"The rate of return declined due to lower sales profit in the reporting period," the company said.

Norilsk Nickel is one of the world's largest precious and non-ferrous metal producers, accounting for more than 20% of world nickel output, more than 10% of cobalt, and 3% of copper.

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