November 27, 2009 / 2:06 PM / 10 years ago

Chile Copec 9-month profit down 43.3 pct yr/yr

* Copec says profits down on forestry losses

* Conglomerate says impact of crisis has started to ease

SANTIAGO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Chilean industrial conglomerate Copec COP.SN said on Friday its nine-month profit tumbled 43.3 percent from a year ago, but its businesses were recovering from the worst of the global financial crisis.

The company posted a nine-month profit of $385 million compared to $679 million during the same period a year ago.

Copec said in a statement to the market regulator that the results were due mainly to the global crisis hurting its forestry business at the beginning of the year.

“However, we have seen the trend has started to reverse in the last few months, especially for cellulose, that has seen prices increase on sustained demand from China” Copec said.

Copec shares were 1.38 percent firmer in mid-morning trading at 7,056.20 pesos, outpacing wider bourse gains of round 1 percent. Copec had been in negative territory before the results were released.

Higher sales of cellulose as the company increased its production capacity this year somewhat offset a weak global economy, the company said.

Copec, which also distributes fuels, is the most heavily weighted stock in the blue-chip IPSA index, and is among the world’s five largest wood pulp exporters. Its forestry arm is Chile’s Celulosa Arauco.

The company saw fuel sales drop as demand from electricity generators decreases on more availability of natural gas. (Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz) ((alonso.soto@thomsonreuters.com; +562-370-4250; Reuters Messaging: alonso.soto.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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