Aughinish plant posts $4.9m profit
THE AUGHINISH Alumina plant in Co Limerick made a pretax profit of $4.9 million (€3.7 million) in 2011, according to accounts just filed.
This is a substantial fall from the pretax profit of $24.5 million recorded the previous year.
Turnover increased during 2011, to $610 million, from $496 million the previous year, but the cost of sales increased more quickly – to $602 million from $471 million.
The company was also hit by a $7.5 million actuarial loss on a defined pension scheme.
The group sells its alumina outside the European Union. It employed some 450 people during 2011, up slightly on the previous year. However, the cost of these employees jumped to $50.2 million, from $44 million in 2010.
Limerick Alumina Refining Ltd, and its subsidiaries, paid just $377,000 in corporation tax on its ordinary activities. It had shareholders’ funds of $304 million at year’s end.
The accounts disclosed that, in December 2010, the company entered a grant agreement with IDA Ireland under which it received a capital grant of €4.4 million.
The company’s ultimate parent is United Company Rusal, a Jersey firm with its headquarters in Moscow. It is the world’s largest aluminium company and its shares are traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company is controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
Mr Deripaska and his fellow Russian billionaire, Michael Cherney, reached an out-of-court settlement in a case in London in September where Mr Cherney was suing Mr Deripaska over a billion dollar holding in Rusal.
The settlement was announced shortly before they were due to give evidence.
Mr Cherney, who now lives in Israel, alleged Mr Deripaska reneged on a deal to buy him out of their joint aluminium business. Mr Deripaska, who is a survivor of President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on powerful oligarchs, denied ever having had a business relationship with Mr Cherney. Mr Deripaska said he had been the victim of a protection racket that Mr Cherney had helped orchestrate, a claim Mr Cherney denied.