HONG KONG (XIANGGANG), March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Net debt of Russia’s RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminium producer, dropped by $720 million or by 6.6% in 2013. As of December 31, 2013, this indicator stood at $10.109 billion, says a company report released at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday.
RUSAL’s losses in 2013 increased sixfold to $3.2 billion, compared to $528 million in 2012. The company has explained that the sharp growth of this figure resulted “primarily from the impairment and one-off restructuring charges of $1,919 million in respect of goodwill and certain non-current assets.”
The document also says that the company in 2013 decreased its adjusted EBITDA margin by 28.9% to $651 million from $915 million in the previous year.
The company’s revenue “decreased by 10.4% to $9.76 billion in 2013 compared to $10.891 in 2012 following the drop in LME (London Metal Exchange) aluminium prices coupled with the 9.9% reduction on sales volumes. The decrease was partially offset with historically high average realized premiums of $271 per tonne.”
The report says that the “low LME aluminium price driven by the negative investor sentiment exerted further pressure on the aluminium industry throughout the year ended 31 December 2013. Average LME aluminium price decreased by 8.6% to $1,845 per tonne.”
“However, thanks to cost reduction measures, working capital optimization and ongoing rationalization program undertaken by the management supported by product mix improvement, weakened local currency and continuously growing premiums, UC RUSAL demonstrated aluminium segment EBITDA margin of 11.3%,” says the report.
During the reporting period, “UC RUSAL successfully completed the sale of 3,873,537 shares of Norilsk Nickel to Crispian Investments Limited for a consideration of approximately $620 million. The net proceeds of the sale were utilised as partial prepayment of debt owing to Sberbank. In September 2013, a new dividend policy of Norilsk Nickel was agreed by the shareholders of Norilsk Nickel, which will provide UC RUSAL with a stable dividend flow up to 2017 and beyond.”
Commenting on the full year results, Oleg Deripaska, CEO of RUSAL said: “2013 was another challenging year for the aluminium industry, which, despite consumption growth of 6% to 51.7 million tonnes, saw negative investor sentiment continue to weigh on LME prices which fell by 8.6% to $1,845 per tonne — a level which takes an ever greater share of global production capacity to or below break-even level.” “In the second half of the year, the all-in price of aluminium was also influenced by the LME’s proposed warehouse policy changes, which added further to the market uncertainty and negatively affected market premiums,” he added.
Deripaska added: “Having gone through a difficult, but important transformation, the company now has the lowest level of cash cost per tonne of $1,864 (in Q4 2013) in recent years and is continuing to focus on higher margin value added products in its portfolio. UC RUSAL estimates that global demand for aluminium will demonstrate resilient growth, with a 6% annual growth forecast, from 2014 to 2015 backed by clear signs of a strengthening global economy. A growing deficit in the market in the years ahead will help unwind stocks and allow the industry to become more fit and healthy for a new period of growth."