ABU DHABI / WAM
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) on Monday reported a profit of AED1.74 billion ($473 million) for the first half of 2021, the company’s strongest half-year financial performance ever.
EGA’s adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (adjusted EBITDA) was AED3.49 billion ($950 million), up 111 percent on the same period last year. Some 86 percent of the company’s metal sales were value-added products, compared to 75 percent in H2 2020 and 69 percent in H1 2020.
EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery delivered record production of 1.09 million tonnes, above the nameplate capacity of the plant which was commissioned in 2019. Guinea Alumina Corporation, EGA’s bauxite mining subsidiary, exported 5.85 million tonnes of bauxite ore as ramp-up continued, up from 5.47 million tonnes in H2 2020.
Commenting on the company’s financial performance, Abdulnasser bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said, “Global demand for aluminium is high as economies rebound from Covid-19. The commitment of many governments around the world to build back better for future societal resilience means the long-term outlook for the aluminium market is good. At EGA, our focus on ‘premium aluminium’, made to customer specifications for the applications in which it will be used, positions us well to benefit from this increased demand.”
EGA supplied some 442 customers with metal in the first half of 2021, in 57 countries, thanks to its aluminium being the biggest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas. In the UAE, the company supplied 140 thousand tonnes of metal to local customers that make everything from car parts to window frames for both the UAE market and export. Overall, its metal sales were lower at 1.18 million tonnes, compared to 1.25 million tonnes in H2 2020 and 1.27 million tonnes in H1 2020.
“Although our financial performance in the first half of 2021 was EGA’s best ever, we could have done even better,” said bin Kalban.
“Our metal production was slightly lower, and we are upgrading our carbon plants and debottlenecking elsewhere to return to metal output growth. Like many other industrial companies, we were also affected by global logistics challenges including container availability, and we are adopting different approaches in response such as break-bulk shipping,” said bin Kalban. “I am confident that EGA’s performance will continue to improve, making EGA increasingly attractive should our shareholders decide to proceed with an Initial Public Offering, which would be one of the UAE’s largest ever.”
In January, in a world first, EGA began producing aluminium using solar power through a partnership with Dubai Electricity & Water Authority sufficient to make 40,000 tonnes in the first year with potential for significant further expansion. BMW Group is the first customer for EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium.
From his part, Zouhir Regragui, Chief Financial Officer of EGA, said, “We have a positive outlook on the global aluminium market which we believe will remain strong over the long-term, driven by the accelerating push for decarbonisation, and stronger supply discipline. In these buoyant market conditions EGA is highly cash-generative, enabling us to further strengthen our balance sheet by deleveraging the company and preparing us for the next stage in our corporate development.”
The benchmark London Metal Exchange price for aluminium averaged $2,245 per tonne in H1 2021, compared to $1,812 per tonne in H2 2020 and $1,592 per tonne in H1 2020.
EGA commissioned 52 new reduction cells at Al Taweelah during the first half of the year, increasing annual hot metal production capacity by 60 thousand tonnes. A further 14 new reduction cells, adding an additional 18 thousand tonnes of annual production capacity are expected to be commissioned during the second half of 2021.
The highly-efficient power block under development by a joint venture of EGA’s shareholders, Mubadala and Dubal Holding, is in the production testing phase with project completion expected within weeks. The new power block will improve the efficiency of power generation, delivering cost and environmental emissions savings.