Rusal posts 78pc decline in first quarter profit, says it plans to sell special aluminium products to China
Rusal, the global aluminium producer headquartered in Moscow, is in talks to supply Chinese firms with “valued added aluminium alloys” that are not currently available in China, as part of efforts to boost sales in the world’s fastest growing major market for the industrial metal.
The Moscow and Hong Kong-listed company is seeking to sell aluminium alloy products in China, including cables used in infrastructure projects, deputy chief executive Oleg Mukhamedshin said via teleconference on Friday.
“There are some opportunities from new regulation in China’s cable industry that allows the use of aluminium alloy cables in infrastructure projects ... once we sign a binding agreement we will make an announcement,” he said.
Soloviev acknowledged that China’s aluminium producers, which have rapidly expanded production capacity in recent years, could become competitors to Rusal on downstream processed products in the long term.
“It might happen of course, the Chinese aluminium industry’s development is quite fast and new technology could be [made] available to them,” he said. “Still, China has significant demand for rolled and other downstream products from abroad, and they are mainly exporting extrusion products and foils, but not complicated downstream products.”
Rusal’s sales to China amounted to US$78 million last year, compared to total sales of US$8.68 billion.
Rusal Friday posted a 78 per cent year-on-year decline in first-quarter net profit to US$126 million. Recurring net profit fell 69.4 per cent to US$149 million, after adjusting for gains and losses from nickel and palladium unit Norilsk Nickel, currency translation and assets impairments.
Revenue dropped 22.7 per cent year-on-year to US$1.91 billion, on the back of a 27.5 per cent fall in average aluminium selling price to US$1,666 a tonne due to rising supply and a demand slowdown.
Cost of sales dropped 6.8 per cent to US$1.55 billion, helped by the ruble’s depreciation against the US dollar.
Rusal’s share price Friday closed unchanged at HK$2.52 in Hong Kong.