Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Rio Tinto says Bluff smelter hurt by high kiwi, lower prices

Rio Tinto Alcan says Bluff smelter hurt by high kiwi, lower prices

By Jonathan Underhill

June 25 (BusinessDesk) - Rio Tinto Alcan (New Zealand), which holds Rio Tinto's stake in the Bluff aluminium smelter, is mulling its response after losing an appeal against an Employment Court ruling over a claim of $13.4 million.

The company took provisions for its share of the claim in its 2013 accounts, of $10.6 million, according to its annual report. It turned a profit of $66.8 million, from a small loss a year earlier, when it took a charge as an impairment against the smelter. Sales fell 13 percent to $655 million, driven by revenue from related parties.

Production at the smelter itself barely budged at 324,835 tonnes of saleable metal in 2013, from 326,963 a year earlier, according to the financial accounts of the operating company, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, of which Rio owns 79 percent. Revenue at NZAS rose 16 percent to $796.6 million, although this included accounting gains.

Operating revenue fell 7.3 percent to about $647 million. The unit's profit for the year was $90.5 million from a $1.1 million loss a year earlier.

In notes to the Rio holding company's accounts, it provides more narrative on the performance of the smelter. While the facility had benefited from renegotiation of its Meridian Energy supply contract and operating improvements, it had been "largely offset by a combination of low metal prices combined with a high New Zealand dollar." The result was a $44 million, or 6 percent, reduction in metal revenues.

The government's cash grant to the smelter of $30 million, announced in August last year, made only a minor contribution in the year of $7.5 million recognised as other income. The company is obliged to repay the outstanding amount if it announces a review of the smelter's on-going viability before June 30, 2015, buying time for an important contributor to the Southland economy. As a result of the deal the price it paid for power was held at pre-2013 levels in exchange for guarantees it would remain operating until at least January 2017.

The smelter has been knocked back by the Employment Court over its appeal against a Employment Relations Authority ruling on its interpretation of pre-2004 individual employment contracts.

"NZAS is still considering its position in relation to the latest decision," it said.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news