Global miner Xstrata and commodities trader Glencore, just a month away from completing a merger deal, have reported falls in profits.

Xstrata has reported a 37% reduction in profits to $3.6bn for the financial year ending 31 December 2012.

Attributable profits excluding exceptional items fell 79% to $1.2bn after the company recorded $2.6bn in writedowns on its stake in the South Aftican platinum producer Lonmin and nickel and zinc assets.

Glencore, meanwhile, reported a 25% decline in profits to $3.1bn, taking impairment charges of $1.6bn, primarily from its Russian aluminium assets.

The Switzerland-based group has pushed back the target date for the completion of its merger with Xstrata for the second time, as it awaits clearances from Chinese authorities, the company said on Tuesday.

The initial deadline for the deal’s closure was January 31, but this was pushed back to March 15 in January.

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"The completion of the merger with Xstrata remains conditional upon the receipt of the outstanding regulatory approval in China; completion of the Xstrata court process and Glencore giving effect to the commitments required by the European Commission," Glencore said in its 2012 results statement.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce was looking into areas such as the supply of copper concentrate and the raw material for copper smelters, amongst other issues.

"We don’t believe there is any particular commodity that we dominate into China, and even if you take copper as an example, there are 20 or 30 different companies supplying tonnage into China. We believe that we should meet [the 16 April] date," Glasenberg told the Independent.

Image: Glencore launched its bid in February 2012 to acquire the 66% stake in Xstrata which it does not already own.

NRI Energy Technology