(Updates with gold prices in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the state- run producer known as Ma’aden, posted a third-quarter profit because of higher gold prices and lower taxes.
Net income was 27.4 million riyals ($7.3 million) after a loss of 200,000 riyals a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Saudi bourse today. The median estimate of two analysts was for a profit of 61 million riyals, according to data on Bloomberg.
Ma’aden, whose main focus is gold mining, is expanding by adding three new business lines, including aluminium and phosphate, to tap rising demand for chemicals used in agriculture and the lightweight metal to make beverage cans and aircraft. A joint venture between Ma’aden and New York-based Alcoa Inc. started construction at an alumina refinery in Ras Al Khair, Alcoa said on Aug. 10.
Profit was achieved as gold prices rose, sales increased and Islamic social taxes, or Zakat, fell, according to the statement. The average gold price was $1,703 an ounce in the third quarter compared with $1,227 an ounce in the year-earlier period. Gold traded at $1,671 an ounce at 9.34 a.m. in Riyadh.
Ma’aden shares fell 0.4 percent to 25 riyals in Riyadh yesterday, valuing the company at 23.1 billion riyals. The stock has gained 15 percent this year.
--Editors: Tim Farrand, Peter Woodifield
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