LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - India-focused miner Vedanta's
full-year earnings rose 21 percent, as revenue from oil
and gas assets acquired in late 2011 helped offset iron ore
mining bans that cost it almost $500 million in lost profit.
Vedanta said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) for the year to the end of March totalled
$4.89 billion, in line with market forecasts.
But the year-on-year rise masks drops across Vedanta's core
divisions from zinc to iron ore and copper, hit by falling
prices that have battered miners across the sector, but also
mining bans and operational hitches. Only oil and gas, power and
aluminium increased annual earnings over the previous year.
Vedanta bought oil and gas company Cairn India in 2011, and
the operations were responsible for almost half its core profit
over the year to the end of March. The group said it was
pursuing exploration in Rajasthan, hoping to cash in on growing
demand in India, which imports over 80 percent of its
Apart from weaker markets, headwinds faced by Vedanta in
recent months include a ban on mining and iron ore exports in
the Indian states of Goa and Karnataka. The group said the
lifting of some restrictions in Karnataka meant it hoped to
resume mining there by the end of June.
Adding to Vedanta's troubles at the end of March, Indian
authorities closed the country's largest copper smelter, owned
by Vedanta unit Sterlite Industries after residents
complained of emissions that caused breathing problems. Vedanta
said on Thursday it was confident operations would resume and
did not book an impairment on the asset.
Vedanta paid a final dividend of 37 cents per share, up 6