SYDNEY, Feb 09, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- The world's largest seller of alumina roared back to profit last year, with Alumina Ltd. (AWC) turning 2009's US$26 million loss into US$35 million in net profit as the commodity started to loosen its tether to the price of aluminum.
Chief Executive Officer John Bevan said the market for the commodity is set to grow 12% over the coming year. "The global alumina market is entering a growth phase due in part to the rising demand for alumina from independent, non-integrated smelters, including many in China," he said.
Alumina owns 40% of the Alcoa World Alumina & Chemicals joint venture, majority-owned by U.S.-based Alcoa Inc. (AA). In the year to Dec. 31, the joint venture produced 15.2 million tons of alumina, with quarterly production in the fourth quarter hitting a record.
The company paid a final dividend of 4 U.S. cents per share, with a total for the year of 6 cents including the company's half-year dividend, compared to 1.8 cents in 2009.
Alumina Ltd. received US$234 million in dividends from AWAC over the course of the year.
Alumina is a chemically refined commodity produced from bauxite ore, which is then further refined in smelters to produce aluminum metal.