Chile's state-owned Codelco, the world's largest copper producing company, on Friday reported 2020 profits of more than $2 billion -- 55 percent higher than the previous year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

As a state-owned company, Codelco hands all its revenue over to the treasury.

The 2020 figures were made possible by higher production and better prices, the company said in a statement.

In spite of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 epidemic, which included shuttering or slowing projects and working with fewer staff, Codelco "managed to surpass the production of the previous year," its executive president Octavio Araneda said.

A photo released by Codelco shows the construction of underground operations at the Chuquicamata mine in Calama, Chile in June 2019 A photo released by Codelco shows the construction of underground operations at the Chuquicamata mine in Calama, Chile in June 2019 Photo: CODELCO / Olivier Llaneza

Production reached 1.6 billion tons in 2020, up 30,000 tons from 2019.

A rise in the price of the red metal in the second half of 2020 also helped boost income.

This week, copper traded at its highest level in ten years, exceeding $4 per pound on the London Metal Exchange.

Codelco is responsible for nearly 11 percent of the global copper supply, and Chile is the world's largest producer of the metal.