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Aurubis retains annual outlook as quarterly profit surges 24%

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HAMBURG (Reuters) -Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, posted a nearly 24% jump in its quarterly profit on Friday and confirmed its earnings estimates for full financial year despite rising energy costs.

Aurubis posted operating earnings before taxes (operating EBT) in the third quarter ended June 30 of 103 million euros ($105.38 million), from 83 million euros in the year-ago period.

The producer also confirmed its forecast of full-year 2021/22 operating EBT of between 500 million and 600 million euros, increased in April from its previous forecast of 400 million to 500 million euros, despite the challenging geopolitical situation and the associated marked rise in energy prices.

The German industry faces an uncertain winter as Russia is cutting its massive gas deliveries to Germany.

"We currently have sufficient supply of energy at all of our sites, allowing us to produce without any restrictions," Chief Executive Officer Roland Harings said, adding that the forecast is based on the assumption that Aurubis sites will continue to have access to an unrestricted supply of energy.

Aurubis is benefiting from increased metal prices especially for copper, tin, and nickel while demand for copper products rose considerably. Higher refining charges for other recycling materials also supported.

A planned maintenance shutdown in its main Hamburg smelter, lower refining charges for copper scrap and significantly higher energy costs particularly for electricity and gas burdened, but were offset by the positive drivers.

"Due to the current energy cost trends, we will be reporting a market increase in energy costs in fiscal year 2021/22," it said. "Active energy management and the (state support scheme) CO2 electricity price compensation, which takes effect with a time lag, have partly absorbed the price increases."

Aurubis expects to see "continuing high demand" for all copper products for the remainder of the 2021/22 year.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by Miranda Murray and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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