DUBAI - Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) posted on Tuesday a 14.7% drop in 2023 revenue due to lower global benchmark prices for aluminium, it said in a statement.

The firm's revenue came in at 29.5 billion dirhams ($8.03 billion) in 2023, down from 34.6 billion dirhams a year earlier, while net profit for the year slumped 57% to 3.4 billion dirhams.

Aluminium prices reached a record high of $4,073.50 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange (LME) in March of 2022 as the global economy recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, but they fell back as China stepped up production.

EGA, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, plans in the short term to focus on safety, maximising production out of existing assets and controlling costs to offset global lower prices, acting CFO Ziad Fares said.

In the long run "there are a lot of tailwinds for the (aluminium) industry to grow", he told Reuters in an interview.

"We believe total aluminium demand will grow from close to 95 million tonnes today to more than 140 million tonnes in 2040. This is a massive increase and we are planning to capture on that opportunity," he said

EGA said the average realised LME price for its aluminium was $2,264 a tonne last year, compared with $2,715 in 2022.

It added that its aluminium segment core profit margin fell to 25% compared to 35% a year earlier, although it still led major industry peers.

EGA also maintained its total dividends at the record levels of 3.7 billion dirhams seen last year.

Asked about the current Red Sea crisis, CEO Abdulnasser Bin Kalban said EGA expects it to be "a short term thing" and that the firm's operations were not being affected.

"We always have substantial stock of our raw materials to maintain our resilience" and "we're working with more than 25 shipping partners" to "ensure continuity in our production and delivery to customers".

EGA, which is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala and Investment Corp of Dubai, was formed in 2013 through a merger of state-owned Dubai Aluminium and Abu Dhabi's Emirates Aluminium.

The company has smelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and a bauxite mine in Guinea.

($1 = 3.6724 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Federico Maccioni; Editing by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry)