UPDATE 1-Chile's Copec 1st quarter net profit up 51 pct on forestry, fuel
(Adds details about various units, comment from company, paragraphs 2-6)
SANTIAGO May 23 (Reuters) - Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec posted a $361.4 million net profit on Friday, a 51.4 percent jump from a year ago, on improved results in its forestry and fuel units and the sale of its stake in the Guacolda thermoelectric plant.
Copec, which owns one of the world's biggest wood pulp producers, the world's No. 3 fishing company and the main fuel distributors in Chile and Colombia, said higher prices for cellulose and sawn wood boosted its forestry sector.
It also benefited from lower costs for short-fiber and long-fiber cellulose.
Meanwhile, Copec's fuel unit saw increased margins and higher volume sales in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, it said in a statement.
In March, Chilean energy company AES Gener SA agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in the Guacolda thermoelectric plant for $728 million from Copec and Inversiones Ultraterra.
"This operation generated a before-tax profit of around $200 million for the company," said Copec. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)
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