Maaden posts SR370.8m net profit

Updated 15 July 2014
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Maaden posts SR370.8m net profit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) posted a higher-than-expected nine-fold rise in net profit in the second quarter, recovering from last year's poor performance as sales increased and aluminum prices rose.
The miner made a net SR370.8 million ($98.9 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with SR40.98 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse filing on Tuesday.
Earnings were expected to improve because of a slump which Maaden suffered in the second quarter of 2013, due to a plant shutdown and lower gold prices. But its performance exceeded the expectations of all four analysts polled by Reuters, who had on average forecast 183.8 million.
Maaden is seen as a key driver of Saudi Arabia's economic diversification away from oil exports, with its $9 billion Waad Al-Shimal project expected to produce up to 16 million tons a year of numerous phosphate products when it comes on line in late 2016.
The company cited increased sales across its product range as well as higher aluminum prices for the profit increase, which helped offset lower prices for ammonia and one of its fertilizer products.
Maaden gave no further detail. Saudi companies usually issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more information later.
The profit increase reverses a broadly negative earnings run for the company, which had reported declining profits in four of the previous five quarters - with the outlying quarter positive largely due to a one-off gain on a joint venture.
The company signed $5 billion of loan financing for the Waad Al-Shimal scheme last month and is set to use much of the proceeds of a $1.5 billion rights issue, plans for which were announced in May, to fund the project.


Ghosn appeals against Japan bail rejection

Updated 47 min 42 sec ago
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Ghosn appeals against Japan bail rejection

  • The court has previously refused to release Ghosn on the grounds that he could present a flight risk and destroy evidence
  • If the bail appeal is turned down he faces at least a two-month period in pre-trial detention

TOKYO: Lawyers for former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn on Thursday appealed against a decision by a Tokyo court to refuse him bail, as he faces charges on three counts of financial misconduct.
Since his stunning arrest on November 19 the auto tycoon has languished in a Tokyo detention centre, facing questioning over allegations he under-reported his salary and tried to shift personal losses onto the company.
On January 11 he was formally charged on two of the counts and his request for bail refused again. Even his own lawyer has admitted he is likely to be kept behind bars until a trial -- which could take six months.
The court has previously refused to release the 64-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman on the grounds that he could present a flight risk and destroy evidence.
The appeal came as the French government called for him to be replaced at the head of Renault, the only one of the three companies he used to head that has retained him.
Japanese firms Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jettisoned him as boss almost immediately after his arrest, but Renault was more cautious and appointed an interim leader while Ghosn fought the charges.
If the bail appeal is turned down he faces at least a two-month period in pre-trial detention. This can be extended almost automatically by one month at a time.
His wife Carole has appealed to Human Rights Watch over his detention, saying he was being held in "harsh" conditions and subjected to round-the-clock interrogations in an attempt to extract a confession.
Ghosn has been seen only once in public since his detention, in a dramatic court appearance.
He had clearly lost a lot of weight but seemed otherwise in good health. He passionately proclaimed his innocence and his love for Nissan, a company he is widely credited with saving from the brink of bankruptcy.
"I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," Ghosn told a packed courtroom.