Sales at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), which owns the world\'s fourth-largest aluminum smelter, grew 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 despite a challenging year, the company said on Wednesday. Bahrain was rocked by months of anti-government protests which began in February. The government\'s martial law, imposed in March, was lifted on June 1. Alba said sales were 227,042 tonnes in the fourth quarter, up from 224,054 tonnes in the same period a year earlier. \"Alba\'s success is significant because 2011 was challenging for industries in Bahrain, and yet, this year Alba\'s sales and production demonstrated a consistent upward trend,\" Alba Chief Executive Laurent Schmitt said in a statement. \"We are hopeful that Alba will witness another success story in 2012 with the active support of its workforce,\" he said. Bahrain state-run energy supplier raised prices of gas it sells to Alba starting Jan. 1 by $0.75 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) to $2.25/mmbtu. The move is expected to increase Alba\'s costs significantly but still offers the plant cheaper fuel than most of its competitors outside the region. For the full year 2011, Alba said sales rose 4.5 percent to 893,020 tonnes from 854,593 tonnes from the prior-year period.