Nickel Asia Corp. said Wednesday net income dropped 3 percent last year to P1.97 billion from P2.04 billion in 2015, following a decline in the shipment and prices of nickel.
Nickel Asia said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the 2016 net income included a P413.7-million equity loss from its investment in Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp. and Coral Bay Nickel Corp.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization also went down to P5.69 billion from P6.51 billion in 2015.
Nickel Asia sold 19.3 million wet metric tons of nickel ore in 2016, lower than 19.7 million WMT in the previous year.
The start of shipments from iHinatuan and Cagdianao mines was delayed due to the prolonged rainy season and resulting sea swells in northeastern Mindanao, where the two mines are located and a temporary reduction in the deliveries of limonite ore to the Taganito HPAL plant in the second quarter, while the plant was undergoing remedial work over a one-month period.
Nickel Asia said of the total volume of ore shipped, 7.4 million WMT was saprolite ore and 11.9 million WMT was limonite ore, which included 7.6 million WMT delivered to both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants.
The company realized an average price of $4.39 per pound of payable nickel on its shipments of ore to the two HPAL plants in 2016. This was lower than the average price of $5.36 per pound of payable nickel sold in 2015.
It said that for export sales, it achieved an average price of $20.77 per WMT last year compared to $22.64 realized in 2015.
“We were faced with a very low nickel price for the second consecutive year, which hit a 13-year low early in 2016,” said Nickel Asia president and chief executive Gerard Brimo.
“Notwithstanding this and its effect on the profitability of the processing plants, the company managed to show positive results. We will continue to see more challenges in the coming year, brought about primarily by a partial reversal of Indonesia’s ore export ban and the uncertainty on how this will be implemented. Nonetheless, we have every expectation of continuing with profitable operations in 2017,” Brimo said.