Russian aluminium giant UC Rusal released results for the first half of 2021 last week. Higher sales and a stronger aluminium market helped buoy the firm’s numbers in the year’s first six months.
Production for the first half was identical on the half and on the year at 1,868 thousand metric tons. Alumina production rose by 2 percent to 4,102 thousand metric tons, and bauxite rose by 2.3 percent to 7,637 thousand metric tons.
Revenue rose to US$5,449 million, up from US$4,015 million on the year and US$4,551 million over the prior half. EBITDA rose substantially in the half as well to US$1,315 million, up from US$219 million last year and US$652 million over last half. Net profit in the half came to US$2,018 million, over half of which was a share in Norilsk Nickel’s profit.
Rusal’s capital expenditures for the half totaled US$554 million, up by $53 million on the year. Most of the capex in the quarter was dedicated to maintaining the firm’s existing facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to present significant economic challenges over the last few months, across all businesses and industries, as well as creating instability and volatility for the aluminium market and these challenges are still not completely behind us,” Evgenii Nikitin, General Director of Rusal, said in a statement. “Despite the disruption, we have been able to maintain an uninterrupted operational service for our customers, never letting quality standards slip, which is testament to the commitment and agility of our employees. Our Company has come a long way from being a primary aluminium producer to a preferred supplier of high-quality, sustainable VAP products for leading global brands. During these uncertain times, as a team and Company, we continue to focus on our long-term priorities, strategic vision and business goals, in order to meet our commitment of being the market leading low carbon aluminium producer.
“This year, we announced an unprecedented overhaul program focused on building new production capacities at the smelters in Krasnoyarsk, Bratsk, Irkutsk and Novokuznetsk. The modernization program will help minimize the environmental impact of metallurgical production and reduce energy consumption by up to 20%. This large-scale project will positively contribute to the development of cities and to the improved quality of life for residents where RUSAL has a presence. The work is preliminarily scheduled to start this year, with an expected completion date by 2030.”
“I would like to add that the introduction of export duties on metals, including aluminium, announced by the government in June, as well as the persistence of pandemic uncertainties and the continued spread of new strains of the coronavirus infection, as we assume, can significantly adjust the results of the second half of the year and the year as a whole.”