Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Russia's Rusal back in black as aluminium market moves into deficit

Russia's Rusal back in black as aluminium market moves into deficit
* Q2 recurring net profit climbs to $129 mln
* Core earnings jump 26 pct but miss forecasts
* Rusal sees aluminium market moving into deficit
* Rusal shares up 73 pct this year (Adds CEO comments)
MELBOURNE, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Russia's United Company Rusal Plc returned to profit in the three months to June for the first time in five quarters due to higher aluminium prices, cost cuts and smelter closures, and forecast further gains.
The aluminium giant, which last week completed a restructuring of $5.15 billion in debt and has no payments due until January 2016, said it expects its margins and profits to improve in the second half of the year.
"In the first half of 2014, we witnessed some important trends which signaled that the global aluminium industry has turned a corner," Chief Executive Oleg Deripaska said in a statement on Wednesday.
Aluminium prices have jumped 24 percent off a 4-1/2-year low hit in February. Global demand increased by 6 percent to 27 million tonnes in the first half of this year, while producers outside China have cut output, Deripaska said.

Premiums that aluminium buyers pay over London Metal Exchange prices have also increased to record levels this year, with Rusal seeking a premium of $460 per tonne for shipments to Japan in the December quarter, three sources told Reuters ahead of quarterly price talks.  
For the September quarter, Japanese buyers mostly agreed to pay a record premium of $400-408 a tonne PREM-ALUM-JP.
Rusal's recurring net profit, defined as adjusted net profit plus the company's share of Norilsk Nickel's earnings, jumped to $129 million for the June quarter, up from a loss of $203 million a year earlier.
Core earnings jumped 26 percent to $220 million, but that missed analysts' forecasts for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $255 million, according to a Reuters poll of six brokers.
Rusal, which has a primary listing in Hong Kong and secondary listings in Paris and Moscow, said it expected EBITDA to top $600 million in the second half of this year at current aluminium prices.
"Looking at the rest of the year, we expect the LME spot aluminium price to remain around its current level and view potential upside for physical premiums," Deripaska said.
Rusal said it expected a global supply deficit of 1.5 million tonnes in the global aluminium market this year.
Rusal's shares have surged 73 percent this year on the back of the rebound in aluminium prices and a sharp jump in nickel prices. Rusal owns a 28 percent stake in Russia's Norilsk Nickel.

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