* Copper producer posts H1 profit of 1.28 bln yuan
* Q2 net income up 76.8 pct - Reuters calculation
* H1 cathode output at 723,900 T, up 12.3 pct
By Tom Daly
BEIJING, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Jiangxi Copper Co, , one of China’s biggest copper producers, said on Tuesday that its net profit rose 53.9 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2018 due to higher copper prices.
The Nanchang-based company said its first-half net income came in at 1.28 billion yuan ($186.21 million), versus 830.2 million yuan a year earlier.
In April, Jiangxi Copper reported first-quarter net income of 766 million yuan, which, based on Reuters calculations, implies a profit of 511 million for April-June, up 76.8 percent year on year and the company’s strongest second-quarter result since 2015.
The company, which is currently without a general manager after the abrupt exit of long-time executive Wu Yuneng last month, is one of the most influential members of the China Smelters Purchase Team, which sets quarterly treatment and refining charge (TC/RC) floors for copper concentrate purchased from copper miners.
First-half revenues rose 6.3 percent to 104.5 billion yuan, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange has fallen 15.5 percent year-to-date amid concerns the U.S.-China trade row will hurt demand for industrial metals.
But prices still averaged higher year-on-year in the first half and hit a 4-1/2-year high on June. 7 in response to fears of strike action in top copper producer Chile.
Jiangxi Copper has also benefited from robust TC/RCs this year. Copper miners pay TC/RCs to the smelters to process their ore into refined metal.
While warning of “escalating global trade frictions” and “tightening liquidity” in a summary of current business conditions, Jiangxi Copper said it had increased its copper cathode production by 12.3 percent year-on-year in the reporting period to 723,900 tonnes.
The company earlier set an annual target of 1.42 million tonnes of cathodes, which are used to make products such as copper wire and cable. ($1 = 6.8740 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Tom Daly. Editing by Jane Merriman)