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Rusal's 2018 profit surges 39% on year despite US sanctions

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2019-03-11   Views:71
Russian aluminum producer Rusal shrugged off US sanctions imposed in April to deliver a 39% profit increase in 2018 and signaled a global demand recovery for aluminum.

On Thursday, the company reported revenue of $10.3 billion for the 2018 financial year, up 3.1% from 2017, while its net profit soared by 39% to $1.7 billion from $1.2 billion.
Rusal's bauxite division was a strong performer in 2018, with output jumping almost 19% year on year to 13.8 million mt, while its alumina and aluminum production was generally flat year on year.

The company's aluminum production costs rose 9.2% year on year to $1,646/mt in 2018 from $1,508/mt in 2017, while its average sales price rose 7.3% to $2,259/mt, the company said in its financial report.

Rusal's bauxite costs rose 7.1% to $495 million in 2018 from $462 million in 2017. Its cost of alumina jumped 20.5% in 2018 to $877 million on the back of supply tightness following the Brazilian Alunorte refinery cutback. The company's raw petroleum coke costs increased by 35.6%, while pitch prices rose by 17.6%, Rusal said. The company's carbon anode costs rose 16.7% and its caustic soda costs by 11.1%. The depreciation of the Russian Ruble against the US dollar limited the overall cost increase, Rusal said.

The total cost of sales in 2018 rose 3.7% to $7.4 billion from $7.2 billion in 2017.

"Looking ahead into 2019 and the forthcoming years, we expect aluminum demand to recover after the trade wars and supply shocks of late 2018. Alongside forecasting markets outside China to be in heavy deficit in 2019, we are confident that Rusal is fully capable to leverage this trend," the company said in a statement.

Rusal's seven-year sales contract with trading house Glencore for primary aluminum ingot and billet, which represented around 29% of Rusal's total sales in 2016, expired in 2018, according to EN+, one of the Rusal stakeholders.
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