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Lynas jumps as H1 profit tops estimates despite soft China demand

Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze

Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze

26th February 2024

By: Reuters

  

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Australia's Lynas on Monday posted a better-than-expected half-year profit, sending its shares higher, even as the rare-earths miner navigated a tough market with weak underlying commodity prices and slower demand in China.

Lynas, the world's largest producer of rare-earths outside China, recorded net profit after tax for the six-month period ended December 31 of A$39.5-million, compared with A$150.1-million reported a year ago.

But that beat Visible Alpha's consensus estimate of A$25.7-million, sending Lynas' shares up 2.6% at A$5.99.

"China's economic recovery is seen as the main factor which could possibly trigger a change in price trend," the company said.

"We see some early positive signs - concentrate prices in China ticking up, a significantly reduced rate of production growth in Chinese quotas, as well as recent feedstock supply deals struck in the industry," Jefferies analysts noted.

Lynas said operations at its Malaysia plant recommenced in January after it undertook significant "upgrade works" during a six-week temporary shutdown of most operations in the December quarter.

It completed works to upgrade its Malaysian processing facilities to increase separation capacity to 10500 t/y for neodymium and praseodymium, products used in magnets in sectors from electrified transport to defence.

The company said it also finished construction at its Kalgoorlie processing facility during the half year. Western Australia-based Kalgoorlie had received its first rare-earths feed in December.

"The 2024 financial year is a transitional year for Lynas and the progress achieved in the first half of the year has established an excellent foundation for our future success," CEO Amanda Lacaze said.

"Lacaze refers to transitional year, which points to the Western Australia Kalgoorlie plant coming online and the expansion of Mt Weld," said Henry Jennings, a senior analyst at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter, while flagging continued headwinds due to lack of slowing construction activity in China.

Edited by Reuters

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