Tue Mar 3, 2015 07:00 AM CST

(Dow Jones) -- Commodities trading came to the rescue of Glencore PLC last year, helping offset a sharp downturn in raw-material prices that hit the group's mining operations hard, leaving profit down by 7% before acquisition-related and other charges.

The Swiss-based mining giant has proposed a 9% increase in its dividend, surprising some analysts who had expected the company to hold off on extra cash returns to investors.

Glencore reported net profit of $2.31 billion in 2014, a sharp turnaround from the $8.05 billion loss the previous year, weighed down by a goodwill charge related to the 2013 acquisition of ...

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