(CNW) Inco Ltd. is reporting adjusted net earnings of $65 million (US), or 35 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2003, compared with adjusted net earnings of $65 million, or 31 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2002.
Despite the impact of the strike at the Ontario operations, the second quarter results benefited from strong performance at our Manitoba and PT International Indonesia Tbk (?PT Inco?) operations as well as continued robust demand in the global nickel market. At the same time, we made progress advancing our growth projects at Voisey?s Bay and Goro, says Scott Hand, Inco chair and CEO.
The adjustments made in arriving at adjusted net earnings relate to changes in the US-Canadian dollar exchange rate, and a non-cash income tax benefit relating to the revaluation of deferred income tax, and the overall favourable effect of certain other changes in Canadian tax legislation covering mining companies.
As well the earnings were affected by suspension costs associated with the Goro nickel-cobalt project, and the Steelworkers? strike, the company said in a news release.
Adjusted net earnings for the first six months of 2003 were $126 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with adjusted net earnings of $90 million, or 41 cents per share, in the corresponding 2002 period.
With a projected increase in Western stainless steel production and Chinese nickel demand, Inco expects overall nickel demand will grow by an estimated 6.7 per cent in 2003.
The 3,300 unionized production and maintenance employees at the Ontario operations went on strike June 1.
The primary issues in the strike are pensions and health -care costs.
?We have proposed improvements to a pension plan regarded by many as the best pension plan in the North American mining industry, says Hand.
?We believe we need to find ways to deliver health care benefits more efficiently to employees and pensioners without reducing these benefits.
?We also believe that our offer is both fair to employees and responsible in terms of containing costs.?
The company reports significant progress in the second quarter advancing the Voisey?s Bay project.
It has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management services contract to a subsidiary of the SNC-Lavalin organization for the mine and mill/concentrator.
The company has completed construction of the hydromet mini-plant at our research facilities in Mississauga, a key component in our Voisey?s Bay R&D program, and have begun testing the pressure oxidative leaching process for Voisey?s Bay ore.