Vedanta Resources was under the cosh on Wednesday despite saying it swung to a full-year net profit, after as many as 12 people were killed and scores injured when police opened fire onto a crowd protesting against the expansion of its Tuticorin copper smelter in India.
The smelter, which is run by Vedanta's Sterlite Copper unit, is controlled by Vedanta Ltd, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources.
On Wednesday, the Madras High Court ordered Vedanta to stop construction works on the Tuticorin Smelter plant 2 project with immediate effect and for authorities to hold public hearings before granting environmental approval to the construction. This follows more than three months of demonstrations against the doubling of the plant's capacity, with protesters concerned that the plant is a major source of pollution and a risk to fisheries.
The smelter has been shut down several times due to pollution complaints, and in 2013, it was fined £10m for breaching environmental norms and operating without consent from the state pollution board.
With so much going on, Vedanta's full-year results were understandably pushed into the background as the miner said it swung to a net profit of $235.6m in the year to 31 March from a loss of $22.7m the year before, as revenue rose 33% to $15.4bn, driven by firmer commodity prices and volume ramp-ups.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up 27% to $4.1bn and basic earnings per share came in at 84.8 cents versus a loss of 8.2 cents in 2017.
Chairman Anil Agarwal said: "It has been another successful year for Vedanta as we continued to deliver across our strategic priorities. We reached record production levels at several of our businesses. We transformed our approach to developing our assets, which gives me confidence of efficient and productive ramp-ups across our world class assets.
"We continue to stay focused on optimising capital allocation and strengthening our balance sheet and deliver superior shareholder returns. Vedanta remains well positioned to capitalise on India's growing resources demand. I look forward to another strong year for the company."
At 1455 BST, the shares
were down 8.3% to 773.60p.