Published On: 1 March 2021

Nickel ore is processed at a factory owned by PT Vale Indonesia.(JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

PT Vale Indonesia (INCO), one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mining companies, booked more than a 40 percent increase in profit last year as it benefitted from low fossil fuel prices despite making slightly less in revenue than in 2019.

The publicly listed company made US$82.82 million in profit in 2020, a 44.28 percent increase from the company’s $57.4 million profit in 2019, Vale’s 2020 financial report shows.

Vale saw its revenue drop 2.2 percent to $764.7 million in 2020 as low nickel prices offset higher production volumes. However, INCO’s cost of revenue was down a sharper 3.6 percent to $640.4 million in 2020 from $664.3 million in 2019.

“This strong result of fiscal year 2020 financial performance was due to lower COGS [cost of goods sold] and operating expenses,” wrote Mirae Asset Sekuritas analyst Andy Wibowo Gunawan in a statement on Feb. 26.

He attributed the lower COGS to lower fuel costs, lower operating expenses and decreased management, licensing and royalty fees. Fuel costs made up 13.7 percent of the year’s total production costs.

The miner reduced diesel and heavy sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) consumption volumes last year and also enjoyed low oil prices amid a global energy price crash. Vale’s coal consumption by volume rose but was offset by a sharp dip in coal prices.

“We see that the short-term downside risk to INCO will come from higher oil prices,” added Andy in the note.

Vale wrote in a statement on Feb. 25 that the company produced 72,237 tons of nickel matte last year, a 2 percent increase from its output in 2019, but less than the company’s initial projection of 73,700 tons in 2020.

Nickel matte prices in 2020 were lower than expected at $10,498 per ton, a decrease from $10,855 per ton in 2019.

Vale spent approximately $152.1 million on capital in 2020, lower than the $166.6 million spent in 2019.

INCO shares, traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), fell 0.4 percent on Monday as the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) rose 1.09 percent.

“We are proud of, and at the same time grateful for, this achievement. It is clearly the result of hard work from all employees at the company,” said Nico Kanter, Vale Indonesia’s president director, in the statement.


Source: The Jakarta Post

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