Antofagasta annual profit drops, payout better than expected
(Reuters) - Chilean copper miner Antofagasta Plc posted a 13.9 percent drop in annual core earnings on Tuesday, hurt by higher input costs and lower sales volumes, but declared a higher-than-expected dividend payout. The FTSE-100 company said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to $2.23 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, from $2.59 billion a year ago. The company lowered its final dividend by about 9 percent to 37 cents from last year, but was better than Peel Hunt analysts' expectation of 18 cents. (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier).