Revenues at the Aughinish Alumina refinery last year increased by 15 per cent to $757.1 million (€684 million) in spite of US Treasury sanctions imposed on the Limerick company's parent.
The US sanctions were lifted earlier this year and new accounts for Limerick Alumina Refining Ltd (LARL) show that in spite of the higher revenues, pre-tax profits at the company last year decreased by 19 per cent to $40.9 million.
During the time of the sanctions, the US department of treasury permitted Aughinish Alumina's owner, the Rusal Group, to continue operating by issuing it with a number of general licences. The drop in profits at the Co Limerick operation came as a result of increased costs.
The principle activity of the company is the production and sale of alumina and the directors say “the favourable market environment for the alumina industry in 2018 resulted in the company recording a profit of $40 million”.
The production output at the plant located on the Shannon estuary in 2018 was 1.81 million tonnes of alumina. Costs at the plant last year increased by 18 per cent from $606.53 million to $715.2 million and the directors say the company is working in conjunction with its parent, RUSAL plc, to prepare for owner bauxite which will replace more expensive third-party supplied bauxite.
The plant employs 450 and staff costs last year increased from $52.8 million to $57 million that includes directors’ remuneration of $1.36 million.