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Fortress Minerals Q1 profit nearly doubles amid strong domestic demand

FORTRESS Minerals posted a 97.9 per cent surge in net profit to US$2.2 million for its first quarter ended May 31, from nearly US$1.1 million a year ago, boosted by an increase in sales.

Earnings per share stood at 0.43 US cent for the quarter, up from 0.23 cent a year ago, the Malaysia-based iron ore producer said in results released on Wednesday evening.

Revenue for Q1 rose 21.4 per cent to US$7.1 million, from US$5.8 million a year ago, driven by a 34.4 per cent increase in sales volume to 74,661 dry metric tonnes (DMT) of high-grade iron ore concentrate. This was on the back of "strong demand" from Malaysian steel mill customers, the Catalist-listed company said.

However, it was offset by a lower realised selling price of US$94.47/DMT during the quarter, down 8.1 per cent from the year-ago period.

No dividend was declared for the quarter, versus a dividend of 0.16 Singapore cents a year ago. Fortress Minerals on Wednesday said this was to strengthen its working capital position.

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Following disruptions to operations due to Malaysia's Covid-19 movement control order, the group's mining, processing and business activities had returned to normal since April 29, according to Fortress Minerals executive director and chief executive Ivan Chee.

As the majority of the group's operational staff are from the local community in Malaysian mining town Bukit Besi, it had faced only "minimal" supply disruption constraints during the resumption of its operations, Fortress Minerals said.

It added that the group "remains cautiously optimistic, as the iron ore market remains volatile".

Shares of Fortress Minerals rose S$0.01 or 4.8 per cent to trade at S$0.22 as at 9.22am on Thursday.

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