(Adds Mexico bourse statement of request by Grupo Mexico to list rail unit)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Grupo Mexico’s quarterly profit fell 24 percent on exchange rate and financing costs, the mining and transportation conglomerate said on Wednesday, but its share price surged 6 percent as investors cheered a possible rail unit offering.
Grupo Mexico said fourth-quarter profit fell to $380 million from $500.67 million in the year-earlier period.
The company said revenue for the October-December period was $2.32 billion, down 0.6 percent from the same quarter last year. Grupo Mexico said it planned $3.4 billion in capital expenditures in 2015. The company was expected to invest that amount last year, but ended up spending $2.44 billion due to delays at two key mines.
Still, Grupo Mexico shares jumped after the company said on Tuesday it was mulling listing part of its rail business. The company gave no further details on the possible offering in its results, but Mexico’s bourse later said it had received a request from ITM, Grupo Mexico’s rail unit, for a mixed share offering on the exchange.
By offering 15 percent of its transport unit, Grupo Mexico could expect to make $660 million, Banamex said in a note.
Grupo Mexico shares were up 5.9 percent in early afternoon trading at 43.43 pesos ($3) per share.
The offering has been on the cards for years, but Grupo Mexico’s rail business in recent years has benefited increasingly from Mexico’s booming auto sector.
The company said 2014 was a record year for its transport division, which notched sales of $1.995 billion thanks to growth in the automotive, energy and industrial sectors.
During the fourth-quarter, revenue at the transport division grew 7 percent to $495 million, with automotive sales up 26 percent.
Grupo Mexico said copper production in 2014 rose 7 percent from the previous year, while zinc output was down 33 percent. Silver production fell 3 percent in 2014, but gold output was up 3 percent, it added.
Grupo Mexico’s local mining operation has been under fire after a toxic leak in August at its Buenavista copper mine released mining acid into the Bacanuchi River in the northern state of Sonora, prompting calls for massive fines and an end to its concession there.
The company managed to avoid losing its concession to run one of the biggest copper mines in the world by bowing to government demands that it fund a multimillion-dollar cleanup of the spill site.
$1 = 14.7793 Mexican pesos Reporting by Elinor Comlay and Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Simon Gardner, David Gregorio and Gunna Dickson