Sales at Bahrain's Alba hit by European crisis

Aluminium Bahrain's output edges up 1.7% in first half of 2012 but sales were almost flat
Sales at Bahrain's Alba hit by European crisis
Aluminium Bahrain says production levels rose 1.7% in H1.
By Reuters
Sun 08 Jul 2012 04:42 PM

Aluminium Bahrain's output edged up 1.7 percent in the first half of 2012 but sales were almost flat as weak economic growth in Europe dampened demand in the first quarter, Alba said on Sunday.

Production at one of the world's largest aluminium smelters was 443,533 tonnes in the first half of the year, against 436,256 tonnes in the same period of 2011, a company statement said.

Sales edged up to 446,044 tonnes versus 445,370 tonnes in the first half of 2011.

"Our sales and production figures reflect the company's operational focus on delivering progress while facing challenges," chief executive Laurent Schmitt said, pointing to a fall in aluminium prices and weak economic growth in Europe.

Bahrain's state-run energy supplier raised Alba's gas supply costs by $0.75 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) to $2.25/mmbtu on January 1, but Alba still enjoys cheaper fuel than its competitors outside the Gulf.

The company plans to increase capacity from 881,000 tonnes to 1.28 million tonnes a year in 2015 with a new production line.

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