Australian metals miner South32 reported results for the fiscal year ending on June 30. The difficult market for raw materials, coupled with a rise in materials costs and logistical difficulties occasioned by the Russian invasion of Ukraine drew down the firm’s bottom line by almost two-thirds.
For the full 2023 fiscal year, South32 showed US$7,429 million, down by 20 percent on last year’s total of US$9,269 million. The firm chalked up the drop to a fall of commodities prices from previously record levels and inflation, which more than offset an increase in production. Profit before taxes and net finance income or loss totaled US$198 million, falling by 95 percent on the year from US$3,724 million. After taxes, South32 showed a loss of US$173 million, a substantial reversal from the prior year’s US$2,669 million.
Production of aluminium in the fiscal year jumped by 15 percent in FY23. Brasil Aluminium produced 68.9 thousand metric tons as it came back online last year. Hillside Aluminium churned out 719 thousand metric tons last year, better by 1 percent the year prior. Mozal Aluminium produced 345 thousand metric tons over the course of the year, increased by 24 percent from last year’s total.
Meanwhile, Worsley Alumina refined 3,839 thousand metric tons in the prior fiscal year, off by 4 percent on the year. Brazil Alumina refined 1,262 thousand metric tons last fiscal year, good for a 3 percent dip.
Graham Kerr, South32 CEO, said in a press release that there were several highlights in an otherwise difficult operating environment.
“During the year, we delivered strong production growth in commodities that are critical for a low-carbon future. We set three annual production records and realised the benefit of our recent portfolio improvements, increasing aluminium production by 14 per cent, base metals by 17 per cent and manganese by 4 per cent.
“This growth, coupled with our continued focus on cost efficiencies, underpinned one of our largest underlying financial results, with Underlying EBITDA of US$2.5 billion. This was achieved despite lower commodity prices and industry-wide inflationary pressures,” he continued.