Bahrain's Alba posts $51m net loss in H1 2019 despite Q2 production hike

Smelter behind Line 6 Expansion project attributed decline in performance to 21% YoY drop in London Metal Exchange prices

Alba is working on the Line 6 Expansion project.
Alba is working on the Line 6 Expansion project.

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has reported a 130% decline in profits for the six months ending 30 June, 2019, with the company recording a net loss of $50.9m (BHD19.1m) against corresponding numbers of $167.4m (BHD62.9m) last year.

In a stock market filing, the company attributed the decline in H1 2019 financials to the 21% year-on-year drop in London Metal Exchange prices, which fell from $2,259 per tonne (t) in Q2 2018 to $1,793/t in Q2 2019.

Alba, which says it will become the largest smelter in the world upon the completion of its Line 6 Expansion project, recorded a 4% drop in its H1 2019 sales, which reached $1.1bn (BHD448.6m), down from H1 2018's sales of $1.2bn (BHD465.2m).

During H1 2019, Alba’s assets grew by 8% to reach $6.3bn (BHD2.4bn) from $5.9bn (BHD2.2bn) as of 31 December, 2018.

Quarterly results at the manufacturer remained similarly mixed – Alba posted a net loss of $8.8m (BHD3.3m) for Q2 2019, down 112% from Q2 2018's $77.4m (BHD29.1m).

Q2 2019 sales at the manufacturer remained bullish, noting annual growth of 0.4% to reach $651.8m (BHD245m). 

Alba achieved eight million working-hours without lost time injuries on 8 July, 2019, and recorded 21% annual hike in production, which reached 305,727 metric tonnes in Q2 2019.

Earlier this month, the company stated that construction work on its Line 6 Expansion Project has been 96% complete.

Commenting on the financials, chief executive officer of Alba, Tim Murray, said: "The economic uncertainty and lower LME prices have taken its toll on the aluminium industry, but at Alba, we have emerged stronger with progressing the ramp-up of Line 6."

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