UPDATE 2-Southern Copper’s 4th-qtr profit soars on prices

* Q4 net profit $363.3 mln vs loss of $124.7 mln year ago

* Net sales skyrocket 153 pct

* Company says to invest $2.8 bln over the next 3 yrs
(Adds production details, background on metals prices,
paragraphs 3, 4, 7-10)

LIMA, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Southern Copper Corp (PCU.N: )
(SPC.LM: ) said on Friday its fourth-quarter net profit soared
391 percent as prices for the red metal rose, and the company
said it would invest $2.8 billion over the next three years.

Southern Copper reported a quarterly net profit of $363.3
million, compared with a loss of $124.7 million a year ago.

The company, a unit of Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX: ), said
profit rose on the returning strength of copper prices and
because of increases in its molybdenum and silver outputs.

Metals prices rose steadily last year after plummeting
during the global financial crisis, but did not touch the highs
of 2008. Copper, which is used in construction, rose 140 in
2009 on strong Chinese demand and supply concerns.

Southern Copper said its red metal production increased 0.7
percent in the quarter to 126,088 tonnes, while molybdenum
output climbed 25.5 percent and silver production rose 8.3
percent in the same period.

Fourth-quarter net sales rose 153 percent to $1.136 billion
from $449.7 million in 2008.

For the year, Southern Copper reported a 33.9 percent
decline in profit to $929.4 million compared with $1.406
billion in 2008.

PROJECTS AND INVESTMENT

Southern Copper, one of the world’s largest copper
producers, said it would invest $2.8 billion during the next
three years to develop new capacity and that the program would
lift annual output by 342,000 tonnes of copper and 6,600 tonnes
of molybdenum.

Of that investment total, $1.8 billion is earmarked for
Peru and $1 billion for Mexico. Some $600 million is scheduled
to be spent in Peru during the 2010 fiscal year, while roughly
$200 million is tagged for Mexico, the company said.

Among the projects Southern Copper said are progressing are
its Toquepala expansion and the Tia Maria development in Peru.

The company has approved a $934 million investment program
for Tia Maria, and has spent some $280 million on it so far. It
has spent $90.3 million on its Toquepala expansion.
(Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by David Gregorio)

Stock Money

UPDATE 2-Southern Copper’s 4th-qtr profit soars on prices