DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma‘aden), the Gulf’s largest miner, posted a 41.9 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts’ forecasts as sales volumes rose and aluminum and gold prices climbed.
The company made a net profit of 275.6 million riyals ($73.5 million) in the three months to March 31, it said in a bourse statement. This compares with a net profit of 194.3 million riyals in the corresponding period of 2016.
The average estimate of three analysts polled by Reuters was for a quarterly net profit of 167.9 million riyals.
It attributed the quarterly profit rise to a 20 percent rise in sales volumes of all products compared with the same period last year and an 18 percent increase in the average price of aluminum over the same period, as well as gold by 3 percent over the same time frame.
Ma‘aden, which operates in gold, aluminum and phosphates, is a key pillar in Saudi Arabia’s plan to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons.
The company said the profit rise was also due to the group’s ongoing cost reductions, which led to a 36 percent drop in selling, marketing and logistic expenses, and the share profit from the jointly controlled entity, Ma‘aden Barrick Copper Company.
Reporting By Tom Arnold, editing by Larry King