Montenegro’s troubled aluminium firm KAP saw its first-quarter net loss widening to EUR 16.2mn from EUR 6.9mn a year earlier, data from its financial statement filed with the securities commission showed.
The firm’s Jan-Mar operating revenue shrank 48% y/y to EUR 20mn, outpacing the 30% drop in operating expenditure to EUR 30mn. Thus, its operating loss more than doubled to EUR 9.7mn and the same did its financial loss, climbing to EUR 5.8mn from EUR 2.9mn in Jan-Mar 2012.
KAP’s cumulative loss climbed to EUR 415mn at end-March from EUR 353mn a year earlier. As a result, the gap in its capital widened to EUR 226mn from EUR 164mn. Its short-term debt slid to EUR 323.5mn from EUR 324.1mn but its long-term one turned to EUR 36.5mn at end-March from zero a year earlier.
Total assets fell to EUR 174mn from EUR 203mn at end-March 2012.
In early May the Montenegrin parliament decided that the production at KAP should continue until a proper feasibility study on the aluminium industry development is drafted by October 20.
The parliament decision on KAP’s fate came after Russia’s CEAC - part of En+ Group of Oleg Deripaska, offered earlier this year to transfer its 29.3% stake in KAP to the government in Podgorica, which also already holds 29.3%. CEAC is offering to transfer its stake to the government as in return the plant pays back within five years only EUR 40mn of the EUR 120mn loans it owes Russian lender VTB, En+ Group and CEAC. The remaining EUR 80mn will be written off and transferred into shares, which the Russians are ready to then sell to the government for a token price of EUR 1 once the EUR 40mn are paid back.
Under the parliament decision Montenegro will continue to develop its aluminium production no matter how its cooperation with Russia’s CEAC in KAP will end.
Furthermore, the parliament has charged the government with forming by May 20 an expert team of local and foreign specialists who should submit back to parliament by October 20 a feasibility study on the sustainability and development of the aluminium industry in the country.
The authorities should also define an adequate model for settling KAP’s debt towards energy producer EPCG and the terms of the future electricity supply contract.
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