March 9, 2016 / 1:10 AM / 2 years ago

Rusal Q4 core profit slumps over 50 pct, just misses forecasts

March 9 (Reuters) - Russia’s Rusal Plc reported a 53-percent slide in fourth-quarter core profit on Wednesday, hit by weak aluminium prices, but said it expects a strong increase in demand for the metal in 2016 and sees Chinese output growth slowing sharply.

The world’s biggest aluminium producer said it expects global aluminium demand to rise 5.7 percent in 2016 to 59.6 million tonnes, while Chinese appetite will expand 7 percent to 31 million tonnes.

It said Chinese aluminium production, which has weighed on global markets over the past few years, is expected to increase by just 4.8 percent, well below the 12-percent average growth rate seen over the past five years.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to $306 million in the final quarter of 2015 from $651 million a year earlier and down from $420 million in the third quarter.

That was just below an average of six analyst forecasts at $312 million.

Rusal reported a recurring net loss of $40 million for the December quarter, down from a recurring net profit of $276 million a year earlier, hurt by a revaluation of its stake in Norilsk Nickel.

Recurring net profit is adjusted net profit plus its share of Norilsk’s earnings.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Joseph Radford

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