http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/hulamin-recovering-from-mill-failure-earnings-down-2012-07-30

Hulamin recovering from mill failure, earnings down

Published 30 Jul 12        By: Natasha Odendaal
JSE-listed aluminium products producer Hulamin regained momentum as it worked to recover from a 25 000 t production backlog created by the failure of a motor on its Camps Drift hot mill, in Pietermaritzburg, during April.

The group’s record achievement of 219 000 t annualised production volume during the first four months of the year was offset by a 46-day downtime as repairs to the mill were made.

The mill was recommissioned to full capacity in June and, while the first half of the year absorbed about 60% of the negative impact, the second half would still register some of the remnants of the mill shutdown, said CEO Richard Jacob.

Hulamin was still on track to ramp up production of rolled products to 250 000 t/y.

Meanwhile, revenues fell to R3.1-billion, from R3.3-billion during the six months to June 2011. Rolled products decreased 7% from R3-billion to R2.8-billion, while extrusions increased slightly to R347-million, from 346-million in the prior year.

Hulamin experienced a 9% drop in rolled products sales during the six months to June 2012, reaching sales of 189 000 t annualised, compared with the 208 000 t annualised sold in the corresponding period last year.

Extruded product sales remained stable during the first half.

Jacob said that Hulamin’s order book remained healthy for the remainder of the year, despite weakening global demand in general. Demand for rolled products in the domestic market was subdued and imports of competing products continued to negatively impact on prices.

Hulamin recorded lower basic earnings a share of 18c, compared with 22c in the corresponding period the year before. Basic earnings a share remained at 23c.

Net profit reached R73-million, in line with the profit recorded in 2011.

The group decided not to declare an interim dividend for the six months ended June.