Xstrata profits lifted by stronger commodity prices

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Copper smelter at Mount Isa Mine, Queensland, Australia
Image caption,
Xstrata is still assessing the impact of the flooding and cyclones in Queensland on its operations there

Anglo-Swiss mining group Xstrata has reported a jump in full-year profits thanks to stronger commodity prices.

The company announced pre-tax profits of $6.6bn (£4.1bn) for 2010, up from $1.53bn the previous year.

Xstrata also said it would pay a final dividend of 20 cents a share, "reflecting a return to pre-financial crisis levels".

It also cited restructuring activities undertaken during the economic downturn as helping its performance.

Chief executive Mick Davis said Xstrata had seized opportunities in 2009 to "restructure higher cost businesses, improve productivity and strengthen the balance sheet".

This had positioned the company "to benefit from a more favourable operating environment in 2010", he said.

The miner also said it had seen record production volumes for coking coal, semi-soft coking coal, and mined and refined nickel.

It warned last week that its 2010 production of thermal coal had been affected by severe weather.

But it said that it was still assessing the impact on 2011 production of the flooding and cyclones in Queensland, where it has coal, copper and zinc operations.

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