Business

Russia's Norilsk Nickel returns to profit

Norilsk mine
Image caption Norilsk Nickel is controlled by tycoons Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska

Russian palladium and nickel producer Norilsk Nickel has reported a $2.65bn (£1.83bn) net profit for 2009.

The profit comes after a $555m loss a year earlier, when the firm was hit by one-off charges of $4.7bn.

The company reported a 27% drop in revenue to $10.2bn due to lower metal prices. However, it cut costs, with labour expenses down by 25%.

Norilsk Nickel is controlled by Oleg Deripaska's aluminium producer Rusal and Vladimir Potanin's Interros.

The firm said it had reduced its debt to $5.3bn by the end of 2009 from $6.4bn a year earlier, and was required to repay almost $3bn of loans and borrowings this year.

The company's cash and equivalents increased to $3.63bn.

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