Cost cutting helped offset a 50% fall in revenue, which came in at $8.2bn, in ‘one of the toughest’ years on record for the industry, the firm said.

One of the key factors for the profit, it said, was aluminium production being reduced by 11% to 3.9Mt by cutting production at the least efficient smelters.

Alumina production was also reduced by 36% to 7.3Mt by temporarily suspending produc-tion at relatively high cost refineries.

The results were also boosted by a $2.2bn share listing in January in Hong Kong, used to pay debt.

Rusal was the first Russian company to list in Hong Kong.

Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer, is controlled by the billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

“We took decisive action to counter the adverse effects of the downturn by significantly reducing costs and reshaping the company to leave it better placed to benefit from the upturn,” said Mr Deripaska.