Major 8 Nonferrous Smelters Mark Increases in Sales and Profit for the Ordinary Profit Level

As for the business performance of Japanese major 8 nonferrous smelters in the third quarter of April-December in fiscal 2005, the year that ends in March 2006, all the firms marked increases both in their sales and profits for the ordinary profit level mainly due to escalating prices of nonferrous metals. Furthermore, business performances of the electronic material divisions, which had recovered from the first half of fiscal 2006, contributed to increase of the income. Nonferrous metal prices have been in their stronger tones since the beginning of this year. In addition, electronic material production operation is in the high level. So the 6 smelters of Mitsubishi Materials and Nippon Mining Holdings, etc. revised upward their earnings forecasts in the whole financial year. Sumitomo Metal Mining is performing readjustment of the forecast. Each of the nonferrous smelters made the earnings forecast in fiscal 2005 in the background that it forecasted the copper price in the second half would be 130-170 cents per pound. However, LME (London Metal Exchange) copper cash price became 184 cents per pound in pound volume of the average settlement in October. The price rose to 200 cents per pound as the average in December. The current level is over US$5,000 per tonne (the second half of 220 cents per pound). Further, there was drastic improvement of custom ore conditions of copper concentrate and escalating price of gold, etc. Nippon Mining & Metals of Nippon Mining Holdings Group increased the ordinary profit by 61% from the same period last year. Sumitomo Metal Mining increased by 48% the ordinary profit of divisions of resources and metal processing. Mitsubishi Materials’ copper business division increased the operating profit by 89%. Nittetsu Mining’s resources business division doubled the operating profit. Mitsui Mining and Smelting, Dowa Mining, and Furukawa, etc. increased both of their sales and profits thanks to escalating prices in nonferrous metals. Additionally, their electronic material divisions, whose business were rather under adjustment, served as engine of the increases in the first half. Although Mitsui Mining and Smelting’s in-process material business decreased the operating profit in the midterm, it marked increases both in the sales and profit in the third quarter. Furukawa’s electronic chemical product division increased the operating profit.