Production and profit plunged at Teck Resources Ltd. in the first quarter as Canada’s biggest diversified mining company grappled with the damaging impact of the novel coronavirus that hammered commodity prices across its coal, copper and energy segments.
For the three months ending March 31, Vancouver-based Teck reported a loss of $312-million compared with a profit of $630-million in the same period last year.
On an adjusted basis, the miner reported a profit of 17 cents a share, two cents lighter than analysts surveyed by Refinitiv predicted. Revenue fell by 23 per cent to $2.4-billion.
The company also sounded an ominous tone in its near-term outlook for the core steel-making coal business, acknowledging that sales could test lows not seen in more than a decade.
In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, chief executive Don Lindsay likened the current environment to the financial crisis of 2008-09, when the company experienced a dramatic slowdown, followed by a brisk snap-back. When asked whether it was realistic to expect quarterly coal sales to fall to 3.7 million tonnes – or about 35 per cent lower than current levels, Mr. Lindsay replied: