LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Kazakh miner ENRC has taken $1.5 billion of charges because of weak aluminium prices and a hit to the value of its operations in Africa, dragging the business to a loss in 2012.
London-listed ENRC, which warned last month that it would take a “significant” writedown, said on Wednesday that the impairment charge totalled $1.2 billion. It also took a $328 million provision due to a now-unprofitable alumina supply contract with Russia’s RUSAL.
ENRC is the latest of the large miners to write down the value of assets as boom-year deals sour for many of the sector’s big players and falling prices bite. Weak platinum and aluminium prices also caused pain at rivals Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
The company posted a 45 percent drop in core profit - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) - to $1.89 billion, broadly in line with expectations but just below a consensus of analyst forecasts of $1.97 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company posted a basic loss per share of 62 cents, compared with earnings per share of $1.53 in 2011.
It also scrapped a final dividend payment, leaving a full-year payout ratio of 16 percent, based on its interim dividend.