Lower volumes and other sales and purchase cost movements reduced overall trading profit by $6.0 million in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the prior year. As might be expected, it became difficult to recover all our historic rare earth costs, as spot prices fell. Foreign exchange transaction rates on sales and purchases had a positive quarter-on-quarter effect of $0.3 million, net of the benefit of utilizing foreign exchange derivative contracts. An additional retirement benefit charge of $0.3 million was allocated to the Elektron division in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, and other costs increased by $1.1 million over the same period.
Operating Profit to Net Income for the Period
Operating profit was $16.4 million compared to $22.8 million for the third quarter of 2011. In addition to changes outlined in trading profit, operating profit in 2011 included a $1.6 million exceptional gain on one- off changes made to the main UK pension scheme in that quarter.
Other income and expenses in the quarter were a gain of $0.3 million (2011: expense of $0.1 million) resulting from Luxfer’s acquisition of Dynetek Industries in September 2012. We have performed an initial fair value exercise indicating that the value of assets acquired is $0.3 million higher than the consideration paid to selling shareholders plus the acquisition costs. Valuation work is still ongoing, and this analysis is subject to potential further revisions in the fourth-quarter and year-end audit process. Currently no formal evaluation of the fair value of Dynetek’s intangible assets has been performed. Additional analysis of the acquisition can be found in Note 11 to the interim consolidated financial statements.The net interest charge fell to $1.5 million (2011: $2.3 million) for the third quarter, a result of lower borrowing levels. With the fall in rare earth costs and the related surcharge, working capital was reduced and, in turn, our borrowing costs fell. Part of the surcharge levied in 2011 had been to recover this additional financing cost.