* Qamco to remain focused on its five-year strategic plan to enhance shareholder value
Qatar Aluminium Manufacturing Company (Qamco) Wednesday said it will remain focused on its five-year strategic plan to make its joint venture (JV) strengthen the market position and its funding strategy will not only strengthen shareholder value creation but also enable sustainable payouts amidst negative externalities.
Moreover, Qamco's global marketing partnership with the other JV partner, provided access to strategically important markets, which makes it more competitive in comparison to other international players, despite supply chain challenges which remained evident throughout the year.
This was underscored by the board members at the company's online general assembly meeting, where the shareholders approved the 2021 financial results and total dividend of QR446mn, equivalent to QR0.08 per share, representing a payout ratio of 53%.
Incorporated as a joint venture in 2007, Qatalum is currently owned by Qamco (50%) and Hydro Aluminium Qatalum Holding (50%).
"Going forward, Qamco’s JV will remain focused on its five-year strategic plan and is poised to strengthen its market position, while relentlessly working to enhance shareholder value, with a strategic intent to remain a cost competitive aluminium producer, while operational excellence coupled with higher safety and environmental standards remains a key to success," said Abdulrahman Ahmad al-Shaibi, chairman of Qamco.
He said the main highlight of 2021 was a sequential macroeconomic recovery, which led to a solid primary aluminium demand coupled with supply constraints, resulting in strong price trajectories for primary aluminium.
While macroeconomic sentiments remained positive, Qamco’s JV continued to focus on operational excellence, safety, growth and sustainability, he said, adding operational excellence was mainly driven by continuous optimisation of its processes, improved reliability and enhanced asset integrity.
On sustainability front, Qamco continued to limit the environmental impacts of its businesses, while enhancing energy efficiency and conservation measures, he said.
"Our funding strategy at the JV level would continue to support us in our continued progress in building shareholder value and would enable sustainable payouts, while safeguarding us in case of any future unprecedented external calamities," al-Shaibi said.
Mohamed Jaber al-Sulaiti, Qamco board member and Manager (Privatised Companies Affairs Department), QatarEnergy, said the JV is capable of fast transitioning its product mix in line with market conditions, which provides an additional layer of flexibility to it in terms of production process and supply chain management, while ensuring products are produced and sold in line the market demand.
"These competitive strengths have remained pivotal in enabling Qamco’s JV to improve its operating asset base along with a strong cash position," he said.
About its strategies to lower carbon footprint, Qamco’s JV signed an agreement with the General Electric during 2021 for Advanced Gas Path (AGP) upgrade sets to generate more sustainable and secure power with reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
Highlighting that continued implementation of Qatalum Improvement Programme during 2021 resulted in cost savings in line with defined annual targets; the board said during the year, with the roll-out of innovative AGP project, it is expected that JV’s power output would enhance and improve overall plant efficiency, while increasing the availability of gas turbines and lowering operational expenses by increasing the interval between their planned maintenance cycles.
The extraordinary general assembly approved an amendment to increase the non-Qatari ownership limit in the company’s share capital from 49% to 100%.