Alternative Investment Report

Nickel Asia earns P2.7 billion on higher ore sales

NICKEL ASIA Corp. incurred a 579% increase in its attributable net income for the first six months of the year to P2.73 billion due to stronger ore sales prices and sales volume.

The listed mining firm said in a stock exchange disclosure on Thursday that its attributable net income for the January to June period is an improvement from the P401.43-million attributable net income it had in the same period a year ago.

Nickel Asia’s revenues for the period reached P11.03 billion, up 66.1% from P6.64 billion recorded in 2020.

From the total, sale of ore and limestone revenues accounted for P10.35 billion, followed by services and other revenues at P433.44 million, and revenues from sale of power at P247.87 million.

“The company sold a total of 8.3 million wet metric tons (WMT) at the weighted average realized price of $25.47 per WMT in the first half of 2021 compared to 7.3 million WMT at $16.02 per WMT in the same period last year,” it said in the disclosure.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose 157% to P5.34 billion from P2.08 billion a year ago, while operating expenses also went up 46% to P2.58 billion compared to P1.76 billion in 2020.

“The company exported 4.56 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $37.50 per WMT in the first six months of 2021 compared to 3.28 million WMT at $26.03 per WMT in the same period last year,” the company said.

“Likewise, the company delivered 3.74 million WMT of limonite ore to Coral Bay and Taganito high pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME), and realized an average price of $7.92 per pound of payable nickel. This compares to 4.02 million WMT at $5.68 per pound of payable nickel in 2020,” it added.

Martin Antonio G. Zamora, Nickel Asia president and chief executive officer, said the demand for nickel remains high as a result of improving stainless steel production, carried by the recovery of the construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas sectors, and growing demand from the electric vehicle battery industry.

“Further, nickel supply disruptions, due in large part to the Indonesian ore export ban and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related lockdowns, provide additional support to the price of nickel,” he said in the disclosure.

On Thursday, shares of NAC at the stock exchange rose 0.16% or one centavo to end at P6.21 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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