Rusal profits rise as cost cutting measures kick in

RUSSIAN aluminium giant Rusal said yesterday its profits had risen in the third quarter – triggered in part by massive cost cutting, including the freezing of bonuses for top executives.

The company, which listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in January last year, said profits reached $432m (£271m) despite a fall in aluminium prices.

In the same period last year Rusal recorded profits of $29m, before it set in motion its plan to slash costs.

Deputy chief executive Oleg Mukhamedshin told City A.M. that relatively strong growth in China and rebuilding in quake-hit Japan was helping his business, centred in Siberia.

“We are well placed to supply our biggest market in China. Demand is still strong. We have cut costs, particularly in administration, and are paying off debt.” He said executives, including himself, had seen bonuses frozen in the third quarter and that future payouts were under review.

The company has renegotiated its debt facilities and is now able to pay out dividends but has chosen not to, in a move to further shore up its financial position, he said.