Philex Mining Corp. posted a more than fivefold rise in earnings in the first quarter, owing to higher global gold and copper prices.

The listed miner reported to the stock exchange that its net profits attributable to parent company share investors increased to P559.57 million from P102.3 million in the same timeframe in 2020.

Core net profits more than fivefold increased to P540 million, although sales increased 38 percent to P2.37 billion.

Philex Mining reported that realized gold prices reached $1,781 per ounce in the first quarter, up 11% from the previous year. Copper prices were $3.95 a pound in the first quarter of this year, up 68 percent from the same period last year.

“Gold was also on the rise and retained its position as a safe haven currency, owing to factors such as a presidential change in the United States, a poor dollar index, and rising geopolitical tensions. Copper rates remained attractive and would gradually moderate as the global economic recovery took over, according to Philex Mining.

Tonnage increased 3% from January to March to 2.03 million tonnes, pushing operational costs and expenditures up 6% to P1.647 billion.

As of the end of March, Philex Mining had generated 13,413 ounces of gold and 6.77 million pounds of copper.

“Higher gold and copper rates aided the Company in continuing activities amid the difficulties posed by the pandemic. According to Philex President and Chief Executive Officer Eulalio B. Austin Jr., “God willing, the favorable gold and copper rates will persist until the end of the year, since the pandemic is still with us and several more problems may lie ahead.”

Meanwhile, PXP Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Philex Mining, recorded a combined attributable net loss to parent equity investors of P4.3 million in the first year, down from P32 million the previous year.

PXP Energy reported that its combined costs and expenditures were P18 million, a 32.5 percent decrease year on year since the company did not consider output costs in the service contract (SC) 14C-1 Galoc.

Philex Mining shares rose 7.09 percent or 45 centavos to P6.80 apiece on Friday, while PXP Energy shares fell 3.75 percent or 30 centavos to P7.70 apiece.

Philex Mining is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., along with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., owns a stake in BusinessWorld through its ownership of the Philippine Star Group.

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