Russian aluminium producer Rusal swings to profit

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Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminium producer, swung back into profit in the final quarter of 2016, as a one-off windfall added shine to a recovery in aluminium prices.
The Hong Kong-listed Russian company said net profit for the quarter was $645m, up from a loss of $267m a year previously, burnished by a $299m gain from the sale of one of its refineries.

Adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation, taxation and amortisation rose an annual 35 per cent to $412m, slightly beating a forecast of analysts surveyed by Reuters.

The company sold 6 per cent more aluminium in the quarter and average selling prices rose 4 per cent, while at the same time a fall in domestic production costs buoyed its profit margin.

Russian metals and mining companies have all posted strong results for the end of 2016 as a weak rouble cut their input costs and a rally in commodity prices boosted dollar-denominated incomes.

“On the one hand, we saw improved market conditions in the second half of the year, supporting our key performance metrics and on the other, our solid results were down to our dedication to cost management, production discipline, and a stronger focus on innovation and value added products,” chief executive Vladislav Soloviev said in a statement.

The company expects aluminium demand to increase by 5 per cent in 2017, and for the metal’s global market deficit to widen to 1.1m tonnes, Mr Soloviev added.

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