LONDON (Reuters) – Commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) met forecasts with a 50 percent rise in first-half profit thanks to rising commodity prices and rosy oil trading conditions in the first months of the year, and said it remained optimistic on global growth.
"The short term volatility caused by renewed bearishness on sovereign debt in developed markets is of course a concern to us," Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said.
"We are focused on seeking to minimize its adverse impact on our business while remaining alert to the potential opportunities that such an environment uncovers in our end markets."
Glencore has said that the ability to seize acquisition opportunities thrown up by market conditions was a key reason for its listing earlier this year, when it ended almost four decades of life out of the public eye.
Glencore, the world's largest diversified commodities trader, reported an adjusted earnings before interest and tax of $3.3 billion, while income before attribution rose 58 percent.
Operating profit for Glencore's whole trading, or marketing division rose 45 percent year-on-year in the first half, but dipped in second quarter against the first, as improved metals struggled to make up for a dip in energy products where volatility had boosted arbitrage opportunities in the first three months of the year.
Rival trader Noble (NOBG.SI), seen by many as one of the closest models to Glencore's on the trading side, saw earnings from its metals, minerals and ores division recover in the second quarter after a dip in the first three months.
On the industrial side, which includes Glencore's metals, energy and agricultural production, operating profit rose 54 percent, boosted by higher commodity prices.
(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Kate Holton)