Nabaltec profits rise on boehmite demand

By William Clarke
Published: Thursday, 20 December 2018

The company reports that lithium battery demand is supporting the rise in boehmite demand, with revenue for the third quarter at $49.1 million and Nashtec “weighing down” earnings.

Alumina producer Nabaltec reported rising demand for boehmite, a type of aluminium oxide used in battery separator film.

Nabaltec’s revenues rose in the third quarter of 2018, led by growth in its specialty alumina business, which includes the boehmite business, it said on November 27.

Nabaltec reported revenues of €43.5 million ($49.1 million) in the September quarter, compared with €41.8 million in the same period of last year. Growth in its specialty alumina business rose by 6.8% year on year. 

Chairman Johannes Heckmann attributed
Nabaltec’s growth in earnings to rising
demand for boehmite.
Nabaltec AG 

In October 2018, high demand for boehmite prompted Nabaltec to form a trading company based in Shanghai to market the product to Chinese lithium ion battery producers for use in separator films.

"The increased proximity to customers that will be created by this move is expected to provide an additional boost in the Chinese market, the world’s largest market for lithium ion batteries," Nabaltec chief executive Johannes Heckmann said.

Battery demand is rising due to the rapidly increasing market for electric vehicles, with China a major center of battery production.

In the first nine months of the year, the company posted revenues of €135.3 million, compared with €130.5 million in the same period of last year. Operating profit (Ebit) amounted to €14 million in the first nine months of the year, down slightly from the value posted in the same period last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) reached a value of €23 million, down from €23.4 million in the first nine months of 2017.

"On the whole, we are satisfied with our results in the third quarter and in the first nine months of the year," Nabaltec chief executive officer Johannes Heckmann said. "As we expected, and as we have been reporting for a long time, implementation of the stand-alone solution for our subsidiary Nashtec has had the effect of weighing down earnings."

"We continue to expect revenue growth in the mid-single digits for 2018 as a whole, with an Ebit margin in the high single digits," he added.