July 24, 2019 / 5:00 PM / 5 months ago

Mining and metals group Eramet hopes for better H2 after weak prices hit H1 results

PARIS, July 24 (Reuters) - Weak prices hit the first half results of metals and mining company Eramet, although Eramet said it expected its second-half results to show an improvement.

Sales dipped to 1.809 billion euros ($2 billion) from 1.813 billion a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 29% to 307 million.

Eramet also posted a group net loss of 37 million euros for the first-half, taking into account the impact of tax charges and expenses.

However, Eramet said steps taken to improve its business, such as approval from the New Caledonia government for Eramet’s SLN arm to export lower-grade nickel ore and a push into the electric vehicles sector, should improve its results later on.

Chairman and Chief Executive Christel Bories made electric vehicle minerals a priority when she took up her post last year, shifting its focus away from the steel industry that absorbs most of Eramet’s historical nickel and manganese output.

“Our strategic developments will contribute significantly to the momentum to reposition the group,” said Bories.

“Nickel production in Weda Bay, Indonesia, should start in H2 2020, ahead of schedule, and our highly value accretive projects to expand manganese production in Gabon and develop lithium in Argentina have taken a key step forward with their internal validation and active search for financing,” she added.

The French state has a 25.6% stake in Eramet.

$1 = 0.8971 euros Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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