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EGA records Dh1.74 billion H1 profit as global aluminium demand soars

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 30, 2021
The company’s positive outlook on the global aluminium market will remain strong over the long-term, driven by the accelerating push for decarbonisation, and stronger supply discipline. — Supplied photo

The UAE’s largest industrial company outside oil and gas said in a statement that 86 per cent of its metal sales were value-added products compared to 75 per cent in H2 2020 and 69 per cent in H1 2020


Emirates Global Aluminium on Monday reported its strongest half-year financial performance ever with a profit of Dh1.74 billion.

EGA’s adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (adjusted Ebitda) jumped 111 per cent year-on-year to Dh3.49 billion.

The UAE’s largest industrial company outside oil and gas said in a statement that 86 per cent of its metal sales were value-added products compared to 75 per cent in H2 2020 and 69 per cent in H1 2020.

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive officer of EGA, said the global demand for aluminium, the metal that makes modern life possible, is high as economies rebound from Covid-19.

“The commitment of many governments around the world to build back better for future societal resilience means the long-term outlook for the aluminium market is good. At EGA, our focus on ‘premium aluminium’, made to customer specifications for the applications in which it will be used, positions us well to benefit from this increased demand.”

Kalban said although EGA’s financial performance in the first half of 2021 was its best ever, the company could have done even better. “Our metal production was slightly lower, and we are upgrading our carbon plants and debottlenecking elsewhere to return to metal output growth. Like many other industrial companies, we were also affected by global logistics challenges including container availability, and we are adopting different approaches in response such as break-bulk shipping,” he said.

Kalban said Al Taweelah alumina refinery continued its world-class performance, exceeding nameplate capacity just two years after start-up. “I am confident that EGA’s performance will continue to improve, making EGA increasingly attractive should our shareholders decide to proceed with an Initial Public Offering, which would be one of the UAE’s largest ever.”

Zouhir Regragui, chief financial officer of EGA, said the company’s positive outlook on the global aluminium market will remain strong over the long-term, driven by the accelerating push for decarbonisation, and stronger supply discipline.

“In these buoyant market conditions EGA is highly cash-generative, enabling us to further strengthen our balance sheet by deleveraging the company and preparing us for the next stage in our corporate development.”

EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery delivered record production of 1.09 million tonnes. Guinea Alumina Corporation, EGA’s bauxite mining subsidiary, exported 5.85 million tonnes of bauxite ore as ramp up continued, up from 5.47 million tonnes in H2 2020. EGA’s metal sales were lower at 1.18 million tonnes, compared to 1.25 million tonnes in H2 2020 and 1.27 million tonnes in H1 2020. EGA supplied some 442 customers with metal in the first half of 2021, in 57 countries. EGA’s aluminium is the biggest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas.

In the UAE, EGA supplied 140,000 tonnes of metal to local customers who make everything from car parts to window frames for both the domestic and export markets. In January, in a world first, EGA began producing aluminium using solar power through a partnership with Dubai Electricity & Water Authority sufficient to make 40,000 tonnes in the first year with potential for significant further expansion. BMW Group is the first customer for EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium.

The benchmark London Metal Exchange price for aluminium averaged $2,245 per tonne in the first half of 2021, compared to $1,812 per tonne in H2 2020 and $1,592 per tonne in H1 2020. EGA commissioned 52 new reduction cells at Al Taweelah during the first half of the year, increasing annual hot metal production capacity by 60 thousand tonnes. A further 14 new reduction cells, adding an additional 18,000 tonnes of annual production capacity are expected to be commissioned during the second half of 2021.

EGA said a highly efficient power block under development by a joint venture of EGA’s shareholders, Mubadala and Dubal Holding, is in the production testing phase with project completion expected within weeks. The new power block will improve the efficiency of power generation, delivering cost and environmental emissions savings.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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