Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. released results for the year’s opening quarter earlier this week. Lower LME prices teamed up with higher alumina prices to squeeze the firm’s bottom line over the year’s first three months.
In the year’s first quarter Alba reported a net loss of BD 15.8 million (US$42 million), reversing a net profit of BD 33.9 million (US$90 million) in the prior quarter and down on the year by 147 percent. Gross profit for the quarter came to BD 0.850 million (US$2.3 million), off by 98 percent from last year’s first-quarter gross profit of BD 40 million (US$106.3 million). Total sales for the quarter fell by 8 percent on the year, from BD 221.3 million (US$588.5 million) last year to BD 203.5 million (US$541.3 million) in the just-ended quarter.
The first quarter saw Alba make progress on several fronts. To date, project Titan has netted the company US$9 million in savings, a number Alba expects to see top US$40 million by year’s end. Sales volume rose by 2 percent on the year to 257,113 metric tons (with value-added sales accounting for 52 percent of the total), while production rose by 5 percent to 272,707 metric tons. Meanwhile, Alba’s Line 6 Expansion reached 50 percent operation in the quarter, advancing progress by 88 percent over the first three months.
Chairman of Alba’s Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa noted the firm’s priorities over the weeks and months to come.
“As we are facing many headwinds in the market in particular the impact of higher Alumina prices, we will be focused on our Project Titan Program as well as increase our production to offset the market challenges in the 2nd half of this year.”
“Despite the bearish market sentiment and lower LME prices, Alba continues to outperform its industry peers,” Alba’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer Tim Murray pointed out. “We are also targeting to complete the ramp-up of Line 6 in the 3rd quarter of 2019 which will provide a significant boost to our bottom-line.”
Going forward, Alba will continue to emphasize value-added sales while pursuing upstream alumina projects. The firm also intends to complete the ramp-up of Line 6 later this summer.