Commodities trader Glencore Xstrata says demand for commodities up, but takes big charges

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LONDON – Commodities trader and producer Glencore Xstrata says global demand for its raw materials is expected to grow, but that its earnings have been hit by big one-time charges.

The expenses, many associated with Glencore’s takeover of Xstrata, pushed the company to a net loss of $7.4 billion last year, compared with a profit of $1 billion the previous year. Not counting those expenses, profits rose 20 per cent to $3.67 billion.

Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg says the company sees healthy demand growth in key commodities, “underpinned by the long term trend of urbanization in emerging markets and parts of the developed world returning to trend growth.”

He says shareholders are forcing resource companies to reassess their strategies, which “does suggest a more constructive price environment for commodities in the future.”

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