Bahrain's Alba posts 22% drop in Q2 net profit

Aluminium Bahrain says fall was due to one-time 'social cost' amid political unrest
Bahrain's Alba posts 22% drop in Q2 net profit
Aluminium Bahrain, the smelting company known as Alba, on Monday reported a 22 percent drop in second-quarter profit.
By Bloomberg
Mon 01 Aug 2011 06:13 PM

Aluminium Bahrain, the smelting company known as Alba, on Monday reported a 22 percent drop in second-quarter profit because of a one-time "social cost" amid political unrest in the Middle East.

Net income fell to $185 million from $237 million a year earlier, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased to $175 million from $147 million, while the company set aside money for a one-time “social cost” of $22 million.

“Despite the social and political challenges faced during the last months and some exceptional one-time costs, Alba showed a strong resilience reflected in its recurring financial performance increase as compared to the same period of 2010,” CEO Laurent Schmitt said in the statement.

Bahrain was rocked by protests that broke out in February, led by the country’s Shiite Muslim majority demanding democracy and higher living standards. Unrest was suppressed after the nation’s Sunni ruling family declared a state of emergency and Saudi-led troops helped restore order.

More than 500 people have been detained since February and almost 2,000 dismissed or suspended from their jobs, according to Amnesty International. Alba said last month it will take back 204 employees who were dismissed.

Sales increased 21 percent to $645 million in the second quarter, the statement said. Alba plans to pay a dividend of 27 fils a share for the quarter.

Alba, with 870,000 metric tons of aluminum output capacity a year, is seeking to expand by about 50 percent by 2015 to meet growing demand, Schmitt said in a June interview.

The company is studying options to build a line that will produce 400,000 tons and lift the performance of two current facilities, adding another 80,000 tons, he said.

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