DUBAI, July 26 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden), the Gulf’s largest miner, posted a 45.3 percent jump in second-quarter net profit on Thursday, in part due to a rise in sales of gold, alumina and ammonium phosphate fertiliser.
The firm made a net profit of 517.8 million riyals ($138.1 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 356.5 million riyals in the corresponding period of 2017, it said in a bourse statement.
The results were short of forecasts of 759.9 million riyals by SICO Bahrain and 641.3 million riyals by EFG Hermes.
Ma’aden, which operates in gold, aluminium and phosphates, is a key pillar in Saudi Arabia’s plan to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons.
The company said its sales increased 14 percent as sales volumes of gold, alumina and ammonium phosphate fertiliser rose.
Profit was also lifted by a 16 percent rise in average realised prices of aluminium and a 14 percent increase in ammonium phosphate fertiliser prices. An increase in income from time deposits and a rise in the share of net profit of its joint venture affiliate with Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp also helped, it added.
Saudi Arabia’s efforts to build an economy that does not rely on oil and state subsidies involves a shift towards mining vast untapped reserves of bauxite, the main source of aluminium, as well as phosphate, gold, copper and uranium. ($1 = 3.7498 riyals)