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Aluminium Bahrain Posts 153% Q4 Profit Leap But Cuts Dividend

Aluminium Bahrain Posts 153% Q4 Profit Leap But Cuts Dividend

The company made a net profit of BHD34.6 million in the three months to December 31, up from BHD13.7 million in the prior-year period, it said in an emailed statement.

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), owner of one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters, reported a 153 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profit on Monday as output increased and product prices rose, but the firm cut its planned 2014 dividend.

The company made a net profit of BHD34.6 million ($91.8 million) in the three months to December 31, up from BHD13.7 million in the prior-year period, it said in an emailed statement.

SICO Bahrain had forecast Alba’s quarterly profit would be 31 million dinars.

Alba’s fourth-quarter sales rose 21 per cent to BHD222.2 million, which it attributed to higher product prices. On an annual basis, the company’s production expanded 2.1 per cent.

Its annual net profit for 2014 was 96.4 million dinars, up from 79.7 million dinars in 2013.

But the company wants to pay a smaller dividend for 2014; it has proposed a total dividend of BHD37.9 million for last year versus 2013’s payout of BHD50.7 million. It did not give per-share numbers.

In late January, Alba warned that Bahrain would steadily hike prices of natural gas sold to companies, nearly doubling prices from $2.25 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at present to $4 per mmBtu in 2021.

An initial 25 U.S. cent price hike will take effect on April 1; Alba estimated this would add about $22 million to its costs for the last nine months of 2015. Bahrain’s state finances have been hit hard by the plunge of oil prices, prompting it to seek ways to increase government revenues.

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