For example, its adjusted EBIT for H1 2012 of $US2.5 ($A2.38) billion was up 20% on H2 2011.
This led to net income before significant items of $US1.8 billion, down 26% on the $US2.4 billion booked in the previous corresponding period.
Interestingly, Glencore posted revenues of $107.9 billion, up 17% on the $92.1 billion it collected in H1 2011.
Obviously, for a commodities trader, a general downturn in commodity prices is going to hit the bottom line.
Chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg said the challenging economic environment had led to commodity prices being down more than 15% period on period.
“While below the first half of last year, this is an improvement on the second half of 2011 and the annualised first half of 2012 is tracking closely with full 2011 performance,” he said.
“Metals were a particular highlight with much stronger profitability, despite materially weaker prices.”
Ramp ups of Glencore’s operations in oil exploration and production, Kazzinc, Mutanda and its expanding coal portfolio helped bolster the result.
Glasenberg’s statement sheds little light on the future of the “merger of equals” Glencore has entered into with Xstrata.
He points to it, along with the acquisition of Canadian grain handler Viterra and Vale’s European manganese operations and a major stake in Democratic Republic of the Congo copper miner Mutanda.
“We will continue to endeavour to deploy capital wisely and selectively, subject to our long-standing value driven criteria, maintenance of a conservative financial profile, all guided by our strong management ownership culture,” Glasenberg said.
This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication MiningNews.net.