News Column

Ma'aden posts sharp rise in second-quarter net profit

August 1, 2014

SAUDI ARABIAN Mining Co (Ma'aden) posted a nine-fold rise in net profit in the second quarter, recovering from last year's poor performance as sales increased and aluminium prices rose.The miner made a net SR370.8 million ($98.9 million) in the three months to 30 June, compared with SR40.98 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse filing. Earnings were expected to improve because of a slump, which Ma'aden suffered in the second quarter of 2013, due to a plant shutdown and lower gold prices.

Ma'aden is seen as a key driver of Saudi Arabia's economic diversification away from oil exports. Its $9 billionWaad al Shimal project is expected to produce up to 16 million tonnes per year of phosphate products from late 2016.

The company cited higher sales across its product range as well as higher aluminium prices for the profit increase, which helped offset lower prices for ammonia and one of its fertiliser products. The profit increase reverses a broadly negative earnings run for Ma'aden, which reported declining profits in four of the previous five quarters - with the outlying quarter positive largely due to a one-off gain on a joint venture.

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Source: Gulf, The (Bahrain)

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