Emirates Global Aluminium gross revenue up 30 per cent to $5.4 billion

Emirates Global Aluminium, the world’s fourth-largest maker of the metal, reported a 75 per cent rise in net income last year amid rising aluminium prices and cost cuts.

EGA, created by the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium, did not specify its net income for last year or 2013. It said, however, that gross revenue rose 30 per cent to US$5.4 billion last year, without giving a corresponding figure for 2013.

“Sustained focus on reducing costs resulted in a drop in controllable costs,” said the company, which did not reply to a request for more details.

The price of the metal last year rose 2.9 per cent.

EGA, which has an annual production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes, said last month that it had cut 250 jobs, or 4 per cent of its workforce, as a result of the merger of its operations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The layoffs of non-industrial support workers are part of a restructuring plan to help meet its ambitious growth goals.

No Emiratis were included in the retrenchment drive. The operational merger was announced in 2013 and completed last year.

As part of the UAE’s focus to get more Emiratis employed, EGA said it recruited more than 204 Emiratis last year across its operations, with 78 of them holding bachelor’s degrees.

Despite this year’s global slump in aluminium prices, EGA is in the process of building a US$3 billion alumina refinery as a boom in regional infrastructure projects spurs demand.

The refinery is expected to be operational by 2017 and will be completed in two phases, each with an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes.

The company is also spending $5bn to develop a bauxite export mine in Guinea to supply the Taweelah factory with about 12 million tonnes of the ore annually.

EGA also plans to have an alumina refinery, with an annual output capacity of 2 million tonnes, in Guinea by 2020.

Bauxite is processed into alumina, which in turn is processed into aluminium.

EGA plans to export aluminium to Pacific and Atlantic markets.

Although aluminium is best known as the key material of soft drink cans, it is also being increasingly used by car makers, who favour the metal over steel because of its lightness, which boosts vehicle fuel efficiency.

Ford, one of the biggest car makers in the US, said this year that it would make body panels for its ubiquitous F-150 pick-up trucks with aluminium.

The price of aluminium traded in London has declined 12.6 per cent this year amid an increase of production from China.

More than 4.8 million tonnes of aluminium was produced in the GCC last year, compared to more than 27 million tonnes in China, the world’s biggest producer, and 4.5 million tonnes in North America, according to the International Aluminium Institute.

China, which accounts for more than half of the world’s output of aluminium, will add more than 80 per cent of new global capacity this year, according to data this month from Alcoa, the biggest producer of the metal in the US.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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