UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminum had a strong 2020 despite COVID-19

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Aluminum Production Image
Representational Image

One of the world’s largest aluminum producers, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has delivered a strong 2020 result despite one of the most difficult years for the industry amid COVID-19 disruptions.

The company said that its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) reached $1.13 billion at the end of last year, up by 63 percent from 2019.

EGA’s earnings were boosted by a successful ramp-up of its alumina refinery and bauxite mine in Guinea, West Africa, as well as cost controls and lower global raw material prices.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban

“EGA delivered a significantly improved financial performance in 2020 in the most challenging year for the global aluminum industry in decades. We achieved this through product flexibility, a relentless focus on controllable costs and cash generation, and strong ramp-up performance in our new upstream projects despite the additional challenges of COVID-19”.

For the reporting period, EGA’s smelting Ebitda margin rose to 23 percent, up from 14 percent a year earlier.

Mr. Bin Kalban pointed out that the company remains positive about its growth prospects this year as aluminum prices remain high and the global economic outlook improves as a result of mass vaccination programs to fight the pandemic.

“The recovery of the global aluminum market that began in the second half of 2020 has continued into 2021. We expect benchmark aluminum prices to remain around $2,000 for 2021 as a whole” the EGA CEO further added.

Aluminum prices fell from a high of over $2,500 per tonne in April of last year to about $1,400 per tonne. It’s currently trading about $2,200 a tonne.

Last year, however, EGA’s revenue fell 9 percent to $5.09 billion, owing to lower aluminum prices and reduced demand for value-added goods.

EGA, which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm Mubadala Investment Firm (Mubadala) and the Investment Corporation of Dubai revealed a 35 percent rise in cash from operating activities to $1.4 billion.

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