Lower prices cut into Norilsk profits

RUSSIA'S nickel and palladium giant Norilsk reported overnight that its profit had fallen by 24.4% to US$1.2 billion in 2001 despite higher metal sales.

The company blamed lower prices for the profit drop.

The volume of nickel sold was up 2.5%, copper sales rose 14.8%, cobalt was up 12.7%, and palladium and other platinum group metals rose 0.8%.