Fortress Minerals posts 37% rise in Q1 profit

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed Fortress Minerals Limited reported a US$1.1 million net profit for the first quarter of ended May 31, 2019, up 37 per cent from US$795,945 for its year ago period.

The iron ore producer's earnings per share (EPS) for was 0.23 US cent, compared with 0.19 US cent a year ago. Fortress Minerals shares closed unchanged at S$0.255 on Tuesday.

Fortress Minerals recently listed on the Singapore Exchange, on March 27 this year, and as declared in the announcement of its FY2019 results, has paid out its FY2020 dividend of S$0.0016 per share on May 31, 2019.

Revenue came in at US$5.8 million, with no comparable figure from a year ago as commercial production at its Bukit Besi mine only commenced in April 2018 and the first shipment of its iron ore concentrate was made during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, the group said.

It also had no comparable year-ago figure for cost of sales, which was US$1.8 million for the quarter under review.

Supply disruptions in the world's major iron ore producing countries drove iron ore prices to a five-year high in recent months, said Fortress Minerals.

China, the group's primary market, still maintained a huge appetite for iron ore imports due to its infrastructure stimulus and huge consumption of steel, it added.

The crude steel production in China posted a 10.2 per cent year on year increase to 192.49 million tonnes for the first five months in 2019, the group said.

Despite generating all of its US$5.8 million revenue from Malaysia steel mills during its first quarter, China will remain the group's major market.

The group said it expects demand for its high grade iron ore concentrate to remain healthy in the short to medium term.