By: Philippine Resources November 20, 2023

Listed natural resources development firm Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) (PSE: NIKL) announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2023.

During the period, the Company recorded an attributable net income (net of minority interest) of P3.6 billion, down 47 percent from P6.9 billion year-on-year. This is on the back of lower nickel ore prices due to the increase in Indonesian nickel production. Further, NAC registered a loss of P379.8 million from its combined equity interests in the two HPAL plants against a profit of P1 billion the year prior due to lower nickel and cobalt prices year-on-year.

Likewise, revenues from sale of ore declined by 15 percent to P16.8 billion from P19.9 billion in the same period last year. Operating mines sold a combined 13 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore, an improvement of 5 percent compared to the same period the year prior.

The Company exported 7.3 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $29.15 per WMT during the period against 6.7 million WMT at $38.87 per WMT in the previous year.

Additionally, the Company delivered 5.7 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito HPAL plants, realizing an average price of $10.53 per pound of payable nickel for the nine-month period. This compares to 5.8 million WMT at $11.66 per pound of payable nickel in the same period of the previous year.

As a result, the weighted average nickel ore sales price during the period decreased by 21 percent to $23.24 per WMT from $29.46 per WMT last year. The Company realized P55.64 per US dollar from nickel ore sales, a 3-percent increase from P54.22 year-on-year.

The group’s consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to P8.5 billion, a 31-percent decline from the same period last year. This decline was due to the lower revenues and losses incurred from the company’s combined equity interests in the two HPAL plants. It was also due to the higher production volume, which was tempered by a 7 percent reduction in cost per WMT resulting from productivity measures.

“We are seeing a recovery in nickel ore prices since bottoming out in the second quarter due to the recent tightening in Indonesian nickel ore supply. Meanwhile, China’s economy continues to recover with third quarter GDP growth at 4.9 percent, exceeding consensus estimates and indicating that recent policy measures are aiding its recovery. We believe that nickel ore prices will further recover until the end of the year due to the circumstances surrounding Indonesia’s nickel ore supply and China’s economy,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO.

Renewable Energy

Emerging Power, Inc.’s (EPI) subsidiary, Jobin-SQM Inc. (JSI), increased its electricity generation by 36 percent to 106,032-megawatt hours and revenues by 34 percent to P529 million during the nine-month period, operating at 100-MWp compared to the same period from last year of 62-MWp. JSI is currently constructing an additional 72-MWp solar farm in its existing Sta. Rita site and is on track to go online by the end of 2023.

JSI’s EBITDA margin remains strong at 84 percent, with EBITDA rising by 34 percent to P442 million compared to the same period last year.

Furthermore, the pre-development activities for EPI’s second long-term lease agreement with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is expected to be completed by year-end while the construction of a 145-MWp solar plant is expected to begin thereafter.

Furthermore, Greenlight Renewables Holdings, Inc., EPI’s joint venture with Shell Overseas Investments B.V., has started the construction of its first project located in Leyte for the first phase of a 120-MWp solar plant in the third quarter of 2023.

Special Cash Dividend

The Company’s Board of Directors approved the declaration of a special cash dividend of P0.07 per share of common stock, payable on Dec. 7, 2023, to shareholders of record on Nov. 24, 2023.


Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange

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