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Saudi Ma’aden Swings To Q4 Net Profit, Misses Estimates

Saudi Ma’aden Swings To Q4 Net Profit, Misses Estimates

The company reported a net profit of SAR376 million for the last quarter of 2014.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden), the Gulf’s largest miner, swung to a fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday as sales of most of its products grew, but its earnings fell short of analysts’ forecasts.

Ma’aden is regarded as a key example of the kingdom’s attempts to diversify its economy away from oil and gas. Its Waad al-Shamal project, in the far north of Saudi Arabia, will involve total investment of around $9 billion for a phosphate mine, several major processing facilities, smaller downstream factories and a residential area.

The company reported a net profit for the three months to Dec. 31 of SAR376 million($100 million) versus a loss of SAR29.2 million a year earlier, it said in a bourse filing.

Ma’aden added in a separate statement it would not distribute a dividend for 2014 because it was still in the process of developing and financing its major projects. The firm has yet to pay dividends to shareholders since listing in 2008.

It had been buffeted in the final quarter of 2013 by lower prices for its petrochemical products and gold and lower sales of the precious metal, but swung to a profit in its same period of last year on more sales and higher prices for its products except gold, which offset increased expenses.

Ma’aden’s filing didn’t elaborate. Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

Despite the return to profit, Ma’aden failed to meet the average forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters, who expected earnings of SAR490.2 million.

Ma’aden conduct a SAR5.6 billion rights issue in November to fund expansions, with about 94 per cent taken up by retail investors.

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