Vedanta H1 profit up 3.9 pct, sees more growth

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15 (Reuters) India-focused miner Vedanta Resources Plc posted a 3.9 percent rise in first-half profit on Thursday as output climbed and said it expected further growth.

Vedenta said attributable profit for the six months to end September rose to 5 million from 7.6 million in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Core profit, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), increased 5.7 percent to .365 billion, exactly in line with a consensus forecast by 11 analysts surveyed by the company.

''Despite strong appreciation in the Indian rupee in the period, revenues and EBITDA increased due to higher volumes and tight cost control,'' a statement said.

Vedanta's revenues shot up 29.4 percent to .89 billion and it declared an interim dividend of 16.5 cents, up 10 percent.

In a production report last month, Vedanta posted record output of key metals in the second quarter as some new operations came on stream.

The company achieved its highest-ever quarterly production volumes in aluminium, Indian copper and zinc mining operations.

First-half aluminium output climbed 26.5 percent to 196,000 tonnes while copper cathode production in India and Australia gained 25.5 percent to 172,000 tonnes.

Vedanta said it expected continued growth based on the expansion of India's economy, but gave no forecast for the second half of the financial year.

''Domestic Indian opportunities, both in metals and in power, remain immense with per capita consumption of both lagging behind China,'' the firm said. ''We are looking forward to delivering another year of growth.'' Vedanta shares, which have gained 61 percent so far this year, closed in London on Wednesday at 1,969 pence.

REUTERS BJR BD1321

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