As a result, the company swung to a net profit of Yuan 975 million ($159 million) in 2013, compared with a net loss of Yuan 8.2 billion in 2012.

“Although the market environment stayed poor last year, we turned losses to profits, as we strengthened management, controlled expenditure and streamlined capital operations,” Chalco said, without elaborating on the production costs or providing any output figures.

Besides aggregate non-recurring items of about Yuan 2.7 billion incurred on selling equity interests in aluminium fabrication entities in 2013, the producer also earned Yuan 5.4 billion from selling a 65% stake in Chalco Iron Ore Holdings in December 2013.

In October last year, Chalco agreed to sell its equity stake in Chalco Iron Ore Holding to Chinalco Overseas Holdings to ease funding pressure from the joint venture Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

The company posted sales revenue of Yuan 173 billion in 2013, up 16% from 2012.