Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) on Monday reported an attributable net income of P969.69 million in the first quarter, down 8% year on year, brought about by foreign exchange losses.

Based on its unaudited financial statement, the listed mining firm’s income decline came despite its revenues growing by 5.7% to P3.51 billion from P3.32 billion in the same period last year, on higher nickel ore prices and favorable exchange rates.

“Foreign exchange losses of P202 million attributed to NAC’s financial assets contributed to the decline in net income,” the company said.

NAC President and Chief Executive Martin Antonio G. Zamora said in a statement that the 25% increase in electric car sales in the first quarter and the higher demand “will continue to be the main driver of the nickel sector over the long term.”

During the first quarter, the company exported 604,000 wet metric tons (WMT) of saprolite and limonite ore at an average price of $50.37 per WMT, 6.09 % higher than the $47.48 per WMT recorded previously.

It also sent 1.79 million WMT of limonite ore to its Coral Bay and Taganito high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, which had an average price of $11.98 per pound of payable nickel, higher than the 1.74 million WMT at $11.80 per pound last year.

The three-month average price of the deliveries to the HPAL plants slipped slightly to $18.84 per WMT from the $19.58 per WMT posted in the previous year.

Likewise, the weighted average nickel ore sales price went down 1.4% to $26.80 per WMT from $27.19 per WMT last year.

“The company realized P54.80 per US dollar from nickel ore sales, a 6.4% increase from P51.51 year on year,” the NAC said.

On Monday, shares in Nickel Asia rose seven centavos or 1.14% to close at P6.22 each. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera