By Souhail Karam
Mining company helped by an $80m cash injection from US aluminium producer Alcoa.
Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) posted a 183 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, helped by an $80m cash injection from US aluminium producer Alcoa, which joined its smelter project.
Maaden made SR342.8m ($91.4m) in the three months to end-December, up from SR121.1m a year earlier, it said in a statement.
"The increase in fourth-quarter net profit ... is due to the collection by Maaden of SR300 million from Alcoa, which represents the fee for its entry into the Aluminium joint-venture," Maaden said.
Analysts' forecasts for Maaden's fourth-quarter profit ranged between SR57m and SR69.88m.
An increase in the price and production of gold last year raised the firm's preliminary net profit for 2009 by 99 percent as spot gold prices hit a record high of $1,070 an ounce in October.
The state-controlled firm made a preliminary net profit of SR403.8m in 2009, compared with SR209.4m a year earlier.
"The increased preliminary net profit for 2009 compared with the previous year is due to an increase in sales, benefiting from the higher price of gold, as well as the firm's collection (from Aloca)," it said in a statement. (Reuters)