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Business Model and Reliance on Key Capitals

BUSINESS MODEL IN BRIEF

What we do

Hulamin transforms primary aluminium into semi-fabricated products (rolled products and extruded products) which can be used by downstream fabricators in a broad range of industries, thereby unlocking the intrinsic remarkable properties of aluminium for use in a variety of end-use applications.

Metal inputs

Hulamin remelts primary aluminium received from the BHP Billiton Hillside smelter, together with process and bought-in scrap, in its remelt and casting facilities to cast around two-thirds of its rolling slab and one-third of its extrusion billet requirements. The aluminium is alloyed with other materials, usually iron, silicon, zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium, to create metals with a wide range of different properties and strength characteristics.

One-third of Hulamin's rolling slab requirements is bought in from the BHP Billiton Bayside cast house.

Two-thirds of Hulamin Extrusion's extrusion billet requirements are imported following the decision by BHP Billiton in 2009 to cease supply of all value-added products apart from rolling slab.

Aluminium slab and billet are the feedstock for the rolling and extruding processes respectively.

Rolled products

In the rolling operation, aluminium slab is passed through a number of pairs of rolls to reduce its thickness down to plate material with thicknesses of 6 to 250 mm and further down as low as 2 mm for subsequent cold rolling to sheet and coil with thicknesses as low as 0,2 mm. Further rolling can produce the thinnest of foil with a thickness as low as 0,006 mm.

The rolling of cast aluminium changes its metallic structure and the metal takes on new characteristics and properties, with improved strength and ductility.

Extruded products

The extrusion process involves a preheated billet being squeezed through an opening in a die forming the cross-section of the extrusion or profile.

Operating costs

Apart from metal costs, the major operating costs related to the rolling and extruding processes comprise labour, energy, maintenance, coatings and consumables costs. Logistics costs related to the export of rolled products are also a significant cost.

Markets

Hulamin Rolled Products is primarily an export business (in excess of 70%), due to the current small size of the local aluminium downstream industry relative to the capacity of the Hulamin plant, which has the necessary scale to be globally competitive.

Hulamin Extrusions is a supplier to the domestic market.

In addition to recovering the metal cost component in its products, Hulamin earns a conversion margin as compensation for the costs of rolling, extruding and finishing its various products.

KEY RESOURCES (CAPITALS) IMPACTING HULAMIN1

FINANCIAL CAPITAL

Gearing ratio (net debt over total capital):
15% (book value); 27% (market value)
Debt to equity ratio: 18% (book value);
37% (market value)

Equity

  • Book value: R3,4 billion; market value: R1,6 billion
  • 30% non-public shareholders
    (Industrial Development Corporation)
  • 70% public shareholders
  • No dividends declared for the year ended
    31 December 2013

Borrowings

  • Net borrowings: R612 million (all current)
  • Total committed three-year borrowing facilities of R1,45 billion (Nedbank) include a general 360-day facility of R250 million and a revolving working capital facility of R1,2 billion secured against inventory and receivables
  • Net interest of R63 million accrued for the year ended 31 December 2013

Cash generation

  • Net cash inflow for the year ended 31 December 2013: R163 million
 

NATURAL CAPITAL

– LOCAL ALUMINIUM SMELTERS

Reliance of midstream and downstream aluminium industry on the utilisation by the aluminium smelters of scarce (and carbon intensive) electricity to produce primary aluminium

   

NATURAL CAPITAL

– HULAMIN OPERATIONS

Reliance of remelt, casting, rolling and extruding operations of Hulamin on water, gas and electricity

   
   

NATURAL CAPITAL

– ALUMINIUM SCRAP

Increasing availability of customer and consumer aluminium scrap decreases reliance on the smelters, creates prospects of improved economic returns for the midstream and downstream participants in the aluminium value chain, facilitates the development of a strong aluminium collection and recycling industry which, in turn, creates jobs

   

MANUFACTURED CAPITAL

– LOCAL ALUMINIUM SMELTERS

Hillside aluminium smelter (source of primary aluminium for Hulamin’s remelt and casting operation)

   

MANUFACTURED CAPITAL

– BHP BILLITON ALUMINIUM CASTING FACILITY

Bayside aluminium smelter and cast house (source of one-third of Hulamin’s requirements for rolling slab for the rolling operation)

   

MANUFACTURED CAPITAL

– HULAMIN OPERATIONS

Remelt and casting

Hulamin’s remelt operations consist of:

  • Three slab production lines, fed by reverberatory melting furnaces, with a slab capacity of around 240 000 tons per year
  • An aluminium reclamation operation (refer 10 below)
  • Two twin roll casters, which are able to process scrap and primary metal into coil, with the capacity to produce 20 000 tons of coil per year

Rolling

Hulamin is a conventional flat rolled aluminium products producer and operates hot, cold and foil rolling mills. Finishing equipment includes coil coating lines, slitting, sheet cut-to-length lines, cleaning and tension levelling and foil finishing facilities. A state-of-the-art plate plant is equipped with a range of equipment including sawing, stretching and plate cut-to-length lines.

Extruding

Hulamin manufactures the majority of the extrusion dies for its two extrusion plants. Heated billet is placed in an extrusion press which pushes the softened metal through the die to produce the desired profile. Finishing options include powder coating, anodising and fabrication.

   

MANUFACTURED CAPITAL

– SCRAP PROCESSING

Hulamin operates an aluminium reclamation operation which consists of a shredding line, de-coater and induction furnace which is used to process light and coated scrap to produce aluminium sows that are fed into the three slab production lines (refer 6 above). A R300 million investment in a scrap sorting, processing and recycling facility was approved in 2013

   

INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL

Extensive knowledge, technical skills and capabilities in respect of aluminium melting, casting, rolling, finishing and extruding

   

SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL

– GOVERNMENT

Government support for the aluminium industry, including government’s stance on:

  • Tariffs and duties in respect of competing imported semi-fabricated and finished aluminium products
  • Benefits provided by the aluminium value chain in terms of beneficiating electricity
   

SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL

– SUPPLIERS (METAL)

Relationship with BHP Billiton in respect of the supply of primary aluminium melting ingot from Hillside and the supply of rolling slab from Bayside

   

SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL

– SUPPLIERS (NON-METAL)

Relationship with key non-metal suppliers, including:

  • Gas (LPG)
  • Electricity
  • Government (municipality, port, etc)
  • Maintenance, spares and consumables
  • Rolling oils
  • Paints and lacquers
   

SOCIAL AND RELATIONSHIP CAPITAL

– CUSTOMERS AND MARKETS

Relationship with customers

  • Mainly export-based business due to small size of local market
  • Increasing use of aluminium by local fabricators and industries, e.g. aluminium cans
  • Customer risk spread in terms of geography and industry
  • Mix of standard distributor products as well as specialised products supplied in terms of supply contracts
  • Quality and on-time delivery increasingly critical components
  • China and Middle East increasing capacity and capabilities and threatening both local and export markets
   

HUMAN CAPITAL

  • Management and leadership skills and experience
  • Key engineering, metallurgical and manufacturing experience and key competencies and capabilities
   

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Business Model and Reliance on Key Capitals