(Sharecast News) - Ukraine-focussed iron ore company Ferrexpo said on Wednesday that both sales and production volumes had increased in the first half of the trading year despite "unprecedented" global disruption.
Pellet production and sales were up 5% and 22% in the six months ended 30 June, respectively.
However, revenues were down 1.4% at $776m and underlying earnings slipped 5.38% year-on-year to $352m as a result of lower pellet premiums throughout the period. Pre-tax profits dropped 7.41% to $250m.
Ferrexpo highlighted that the global pellet market had faced reduced demand in the first half due to lower steel production in most regions but noted that this had been partly offset by "significantly lower" pellet supply from Brazil.
On the back of its "resilient financial performance" and "strengthened balance sheet", Ferrexpo also declared an interim dividend of 6.6 cents per share - in addition to the dividend declared by the group in June.
Ferrexpo did caution that the recovery of steel markets in Europe and Japan would "be slower than in China" but expects the level of demand from Chinese steel producers to remain at the level seen in the first half.
As of 0845 BST, Ferrexpo shares were up 7.22% at 194.60p.
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