Chalco first quarter profits fall 19.4 percent on lower aluminum prices – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2018)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Aluminum Corp of China Ltd (601600.SS) (2600.HK), known as Chalco, said on Monday that first-quarter net profits fell by 19.4 percent from a year ago due to lower aluminum prices but one-off gains helped it avoid a much worse result.

The company, China’s biggest state-run aluminum producer, said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange that net profit during the January to March was 308.6 million yuan ($48.94 million), versus an adjusted net profit of 382.9 million yuan a year earlier. Revenues, meanwhile, fell by 10.5 percent to 36.7 billion yuan.

The numbers point to thinning margins for aluminum smelters in China, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, in a quarter when prices fell.

Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong, said the Chalco numbers were in line with her expectations, of 1.3 billion yuan on an annual basis, but noted that without one-off gains totaling 282.25 million yuan, the company would only have made around 26 million yuan in profit.

These one-offs included a 166.4 million fair-value gain on subsidiaries and affiliates. Chalco in January issued shares to buy back stakes in four subsidiaries for about 12.7 billion yuan, only a month after selling them to a group of outside investors.

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