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Chalco posts best quarterly profit in 5 years as aluminium prices surge

* Chalco Q1 profit 966.7 mln yuan vs 30.9 mln yuan yr earlier

* Aluminium output +2.1% y/y at 970,000 T; coal output down 33.8%Shanghai aluminium gained 11.3% in Q1, hit 11-yr high on Tuesday

April 27 (Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China Ltd , or Chalco, said on Tuesday net profits rose thirtyfold year-on-year in the first quarter, hitting their highest in more than five years as aluminium prices soared to decade peaks and output increased.

The state-controlled aluminium producer said net income in January-March was 966.7 million yuan ($149 million), its best result since a profit of more than 1 billion yuan in fourth quarter of 2015, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The bumper earnings were up from a revised 30.9 million yuan profit for the first quarter of 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak sent Shanghai aluminium prices tumbling to four-year lows and impacted sales.

A subsequent recovery led by resurgent Chinese demand saw prices gain more than 20% in 2020 and they climbed a further 11.3% in the first quarter of this year. On Tuesday, Shanghai aluminium hit an 11-year high of 18,655 yuan a tonne.

Chalco said its first-quarter revenue was up 32.6% year-on-year at 52.6 billion yuan as its realised aluminium sales price increased by 20.4% and production of primary aluminium was up 2.1% at 970,000 tonnes.

That beat Russian rival Rusal, which earlier on Tuesday said it produced 932,000 tonnes of aluminium in the first quarter.

Production of alumina, the substance used to make aluminium, was up 14.6% year-on-year at 4.09 million tonnes, while coal output decreased by 33.8% to 1.53 million tonne, Chalco said.

The Beijing-based company, which has started using cleaner solar and wind power as alternatives to coal, said last month it reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 5.2% in 2020.

$1 = 6.4862 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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