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Lower commodity prices push Sherritt revenue, profit lower

Sherritt chairman Ian Delaney addresses shareholders in Toronto in this file photo.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/REUTERS

Sherritt International Corp. posted a lower first-quarter profit and a 20-per-cent decline in revenue from the same time last year, as the company felt the impact of lower commodity prices.

The mining and energy company had $23.1-million of net earnings, or eight cents per share, down from $32.4-million or 11 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

It said the profit was due to lower prices for nickel, cobalt, coal and oil due to reduced demand for those commodities. The average price it received from electricity sales in Cuba was up one per cent due to currency fluctuations.

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Revenue was $286.5-million, down from $359.4-million, while operating cash flow was cut by half to $48-million from $100.4-million in the first quarter of 2012.

However, Sherritt's spending on capital and intangibles related to operations rose to $51.6-million from $40.9-million in the first quarter of 2012.

Sherritt produces nickel from operations in Canada, Cuba, Indonesia and Madagascar, an island off the east coast of Africa.

The company is also the largest producer of thermal coal in Canada and the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island.

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