EGA silicon metal production unit
Sustained demand for its high-performance product-line helped EGA deliver its best ever half-yearly numbers. A bit of 'debottlenecking' too helped. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE industrial heavyweight Emirates Global Aluminium has had its best half-year performance ever, with H1-2022 net profit already topping the full-year 2021 tally. ‘Strong operational performance’ fetched a net profit of Dh5.9 billion against Dh1.7 billion a year ago. (For full-year 2021, the tally was Dh5.5 billion.)

EGA has proposed an interim dividend of $600 million. The record tally meant it also paid back Dh2.9 billion on a corporate debt ahead of schedule.

“During the first-half we worked to debottleneck our operations, optimise our customer and product mix to maximise our revenue, robustly control our costs, and set the course for future growth,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA. “We will continue to focus on delivering competitive returns for our sector, however the global aluminium market develops.”

The numbers come on top of solid revenue gains, at Dh18.3 billion against Dh10.8 billion a year ago. This helped EGA bring forward a debt payment of Dh2.9 billion, ‘further ‘de-leveraging to strengthen the company’s balance-sheet’. (Since January 2021, EGA has pre-paid Dh6.5 billion while making Dh968 million in scheduled payments.)

“After our record performance in 2021, I noted that EGA could still do better and indeed we improved our operational performance across the value chain from mining to outbound logistics for finished metal," the CEO added. "This enabled us to capitalise on strong market conditions. Our net profit for the first half exceeded net profit for the entirety of last year."

Churning up cash; caution over H2-22
Strong demand for aluminium, especially EGA's higher margin products, meant 'high cash-generative in strong market conditions.

“Aluminium demand is closely correlated to the health of the global economy," said Zouhir Regragui, Chief Financial Officer of EGA. "The economic outlook for the remainder of the year is uncertain but market conditions are likely to be less favourable than in the first-half.

"We will maintain our focus on what we control – operational excellence, maximising the value of our production through our marketing strategy, controlling our overheads, and closely managing our working capital - to continue to deliver excellent returns compared to our sector.”