Dubai Aluminium Corporation (Dubal) saw net profits jump 65 per cent year on year to a record Dhs3.52 billion ($953 million) in 2011, the government-owned smelter said on Wednesday. Dubal’s record profits were thanks largely to a 28.5 per cent year on year increase in gross sales to Dhs11.14 billion ($3.03 billion), making it one of the most profitable Dubai government businesses. “Reducing budgeted capital expenditures and maintaining tight working capital control contributed significantly to achieving improved cash generation from operating activities and free cash flow,” chief executive Abdulla Kalban said in a statement. The company, which began operations in 1979 and now has a production capacity of over one million metric tonnes a year, said higher aluminium prices and increased revenues from its share in the Emirates Aluminium smelter near Abu Dhabi also helped drive income to record levels last year. Aluminium smelting is one of man’s most energy-hungry inventions, depending on continuous supplies of large amounts of electricity -largely fueled by gas in the United Arab Emirates. The emergence of aluminium smelting across the Gulf, often driven by artificially low, government-set gas prices for industry, is a key factor behind soaring gas demand and imports into the region.