EGA 2017 net income surges 59% to over 900 million dollars on stronger aluminium prices and record production levels
by Mario Conserva
Emirates Global Aluminium, a main strategic supplier of primary aluminium both in Europe and in Italy, reported net income for 2017 $900 million (AED 3.3 billion), a 59% increase on 2016.
EGA’s revenue increased to $5.6 billion (AED 20.5 billion) in 2017 compared to $4.6 billion (AED 17.1 billion) in 2016; Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (adjusted EBITDA) stood at $1.8 billion (AED 6.7 billion), an increase of 31% 2016. EGA’s adjusted EBITDA margin for 2017 was 32% (30% in 2016) and distributed $546 million (AED 2 billion) to its shareholders in 2017 compared to $340 million (AED 1.2 billion) in 2016. Record cast metal production of 2.6 million tonnes (2016: 2.5 million tonnes) and a continuing focus on cost control and operational efficiency contributed to EGA’s strong performance, amid favourable conditions in the global aluminium market.
The company’s sales of value-added products, which attract considerably higher premiums over LME prices than those achieved by standard aluminium and enable to maximise the value of its production, increased by 87,000 tonnes in 2017 to 2.1 million tonnes, representing 82% of total sales. EGA sold value-added products to 336 customers in 54 countries in 2017 and is the world’s biggest ‘premium aluminium’ producer. HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of EGA, said: “Emirates Global Aluminium is one of the UAE’s most important industrial giants, and a world leader in the global aluminium sector. With a strong customer base worldwide, a seasoned management team and a solid financial foundation, EGA is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing demand for aluminium in this era of growth and innovation”. EGA’s aluminium is the second biggest made-in-the-UAE export by value (after hydrocarbons, the company supplies aluminium to over 350 customers in total in more than 60 countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa region, Europe and the Americas; about 10% of the production is supplied to customers in the UAE, serving the growing needs of the UAE’s downstream fabrication sector.
Focus on technological innovation and upstream integration
EGA has developed its own technology for over 25 years to improve the efficiency of the aluminium smelting process, investing in its smelter technology and is at the forefront of innovation in the industry, with demonstrated and growing use of technologies such as robotics, machine learning and advanced analytics supporting continuous improvements in operating performance.
EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and following this line in last October completed a major project to retrofit its older production lines at Jebel Ali. The new reduction cells each have the capacity to produce 20% more aluminium than those they replaced, with 10% less specific energy consumption to make each tonne of metal. Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our industry-leading operating margins strengthened further in 2017, demonstrating the success of our business model, our technological and structural cost advantages, and our superior product mix as the world’s largest producer of value-added products. One area of particular success in 2017 stems from our development over more than 25 years of our own energy efficient smelting technology. All our reduction cells run on EGA technology, reducing costs and environmental emissions. We also continued to progress well in 2017 on our strategic growth projects that are expanding our business upstream to secure the natural resources we need. Once complete, Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi and GAC, our bauxite mining project in the Republic of Guinea, will deliver value for decades to come as well as create further long-term growth opportunities for EGA”. Work on Al Taweelah alumina refinery is currently 76% complete and first alumina is expected during the first half of 2019. Once full ramp up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery will meet 40% of EGA’s alumina requirements, helping to secure the competitive supply of the feedstock for aluminium smelters. More than 10,000 people are currently working on the project, which has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $3.3 billion. The Guinea Alumina Corporation bauxite mine project is currently 37% complete, with first bauxite exports expected during the second half of 2019. EGA’s Guinea project, which has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $1.4 billion, will be amongst the world’s largest and highest quality bauxite mines, creating a new revenue stream for EGA.