Aluminium Bahrain Q2 net profit down on lower prices

ABU DHABI, July 29 Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:17am EDT

ABU DHABI, July 29 (Reuters) - Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) said its second quarter net profit dropped by almost half to 35.6 million Bahraini dinars ($95 million) on lower metal prices and higher gas costs.

Aluminium prices on the London Metal Exchange dipped close to $600 a tonne when compared with the same period last year, according to the company.

Bahrain's state-run energy supplier also raised Alba's gas supply costs by $0.75 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) to $2.25/mmbtu on January 1.

The firm, which owns the world's fourth-largest aluminium smelter, made a profit of 69.7 million dinars in the same quarter of 2011, a statement published on the Bahrain bourse showed.

"Without LME and gas impact, Alba was able to maintain its intrinsic value," the company's chief executive Laurent Schmitt said in an e-mailed statement.

Production for the second quarter inched up 1.7 percent while sales remained stable.

One of the main priorities throughout the second quarter was to work towards finalising a long-term contract to secure the availability and price of gas beyond 2012 for the company's sixth line expansion plan, the statement said.

Last week, Alba said it had hired BNP Paribas to advise on financing options for its proposed $2.5 billion expansion plan.

The new line would add 400,000 tonnes annual capacity to its current production of 881,000 tonnes a year and could be completed by early 2015. ($1=0.3771 Bahraini dinars) (Reporting By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Mike Nesbit)