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COVID-19 slightly affects aluminium supply of Romania's Alro Group


Romanian aluminium producer Alro Group [BSE:ALR] said on Friday that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis has slightly affected its aluminium supply.

At present, several countries have temporarily closed their borders for individuals, causing certain slowdowns and temporary bottlenecks to outbound  supply from Romania and to imports of some materials from affected countries, Alro Group said in its 2019 financial statement filed with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB.

The primary aluminium supply is less affected as Alro's major clients continue their activity with significantly less disruptions compared to the clients active in the processed products area. However, the group remains on alert to find the best solutions for keeping potential slowdowns at minimum levels, it said.

Alro added that although the COVID-19 crisis hit the aluminium industry, the market has seen even lower quotations in the past and such volatility is commonly registered in the industry, so the degree of correlation between the spread of the epidemic and the trajectory of aluminium prices cannot be ascertained.

Alro Group posted a 53.3 million lei ($12 million/ 11 million euro) adjusted net loss in 2019, compared to a 235 million lei profit in 2018, as a direct consequence of a continuous downward trend of aluminum prices of the London Metal Exchange (LME) and tough conditions on the international market.

Alro posted a turnover of  2.78 billion lei in 2019, compared to 2.98 billion lei in the previous year.

"We postponed the investments except the maintenance CAPEX and those compulsory from an environmental and energy efficiency point of view, we lowered the inventories level, we minimised the scrap acquisitions in line with the flat-rolled products demand,"  the chairman of Alro board of directors, Marian Nastase, said.

The company also reduced its stock of raw materials, limited aluminium electrolytic production by decreasing energy intensity and delaying some capital repairs for the pots, collectively with a change in sales mix structure by raising the quantities of very high value-added products.

All these measures helped Alro limit its losses last year, Nastase said.

The group comprises aluminium manufacturer Alro, alumina producer Alum, bauxite mining company Sierra Mineral Holdings, extrusion business line Vimetco Extrusion, holding and management company Conef, and Bauxite Marketing division.

Alro's shares last traded 1.96% lower at 1.25 lei on the BVB on Thursday.