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Drittes Quartal 2010: Starke Kostenkontrolle in einem saisonal schwachen Quartal

Hydro weist im dritten Quartal ein bereinigtes Ergebnis vor Finanzposten und Steuern (EBIT) in Höhe von 965 Millionen NOK aus, das ist ein Rückgang von 1.110 Millionen NOK im zweiten Quartal. Jahreszeitlich bedingter niedrigerer Absatz, schwächere bereinigte Ergebnisse für Alumina & Raw Materials sowie Verluste beim Joint Venture Qatalum haben das bereinigte Ergebnis belastet.

  • Bereinigtes EBIT in Höhe von 965 Millionen NOK
  • Rückläufige Volumen aufgrund des saisonal bedingten Rückgangs der Nachfrage
  • Upstream-Bereich schwächer infolge des reduzierten Ergebnisses des Aluminiumoxid-geschäftes und des Stromausfalls bei Qatalum
  • Midstream-Bereich mit konstanter Betriebsleistung und positiv beeinflusst durch Währungseffekte
  • Downstream-Bereich saisonal bedingt schwächer, positive Effekte interner Maßnahmen
  • Energy stabil mit weiterhin niedriger Stromerzeugung
  • Übernahme des Aluminium-geschäfts von Vale auf Kurs mit Abschluss im vierten Quartal
  • Erreichen der vollen Leistung bei Qatalum bis zum Ende des ersten Quartals 2011
  • Wachstumsaussichten außerhalb von China etwa 17 Prozent

„Die Markt-Fundamentaldaten zeigen Anzeichen einer Erholung, aber das Absatzvolumen ist aufgrund der normalen jahreszeitlichen Schwankungen auf dem Markt niedriger. Gestützt auf eine höhere Aluminiumnachfrage in den ersten neuen Monaten als erwartet rechnen wir im nächsten Jahr mit einem Anstieg der Nachfrage außerhalb von China um etwa 17 Prozent gegenüber 2009“, sagt Hydro-Konzernchef Svein Richard Brandtzæg. 

Vale und Qatalum

„Hydro befindet sich in einem Prozess, der das Unternehmen verändern und zu einem wirklich globalen und führenden Aluminiumunternehmen machen wird. Im Moment konzentrieren wir uns auf die Integrationsplanung und den Abschluss der Vale-Transaktion im vierten Quartal, während bei Qatalum das Hochfahren der Produktion weitergeht und die volle Kapazität bis Ende des ersten Quartals 2011 erreicht wird“, so Brandtzæg.
 
„Gleichzeitig wird die strenge Kostenkontrolle weitergeführt, um die betrieblichen Leistungsprozesse zu verbessern. Ich freue mich, dass die Arbeit, Kosten in Höhe von 300 Dollar je Tonne in unseren Hütten einzusparen, gut vorankommt.“
 
Das bereinigte Ergebnis für das Geschäftsfeld Primary Metal war im Quartal infolge geringerer Ergebnisse im Bereich Alumina & Raw Materials rückläufig. Die Tonerderaffinerie Alunorte, an der Hydro gegenwärtig mit 34 Prozent beteiligt ist, verzeichnete im Quartal einen bereinigten Verlust, da die an die LME geknüpften Preise für Aluminiumoxid sanken und die Kosten für Energie und Rohstoffe stiegen. Das bereinigte Ergebnis für die Handelsaktivitäten mit Aluminiumoxid schwächte sich im dritten Quartal ab.
 
Die Aluminiumhütte Qatalum, die sich zu jeweils 50 Prozent im Besitz von Hydro und Qatar Petroleum befindet, musste erhöhte Verluste hinnehmen, da der Stromausfall im August zur Produktionseinstellung und zu Verkaufsverlusten führte. Mitte September wurde die Produktion wieder hochgefahren, und es wird damit gerechnet, dass die Hütte bis zum Ende des ersten Quartals 2011 die volle Leistung erreichen wird. Voraussichtlich wird die Versicherung den Großteil der Kosten und Verluste decken, die für das Unternehmen entstanden, einschließlich der Betriebsunterbrechung.

Weitere Geschäftsfelder 

Das bereinigte EBIT für das Geschäftsfeld Metal Markets erhöhte sich im Quartal, hauptsächlich aufgrund positiver Währungseffekte, die sich infolge einer Stärkung des Euro gegenüber dem Dollar ergaben.
 
Die Geschäftsfelder Extruded Products und Rolled Products erzielten niedrigere bereinigte Ergebnisse (EBIT), ausschlaggebend dafür war das jahreszeitlich bedingte niedrigere Absatzvolumen. Die Margen für Rolled Products reduzierten sich aufgrund der höheren Fracht- und Materialkosten sowie der Währungsentwicklungen. Auch bei Extruded Products gaben die Margen in den meisten Sektoren leicht nach. Der Kostenfokus wurde sowohl bei Rolled Products als auch Extruded Products aufrechterhalten und brachte eine weitere Verbesserung der Kostenpositionen.
 
Das bereinigte Ergebnis für das Geschäftsfeld Energy war im dritten Quartal stabil, mit einer weiterhin niedrigen Stromerzeugung im Quartal.
 
Der Netto-Cashflow aus dem operativen Geschäft belief sich im Quartal auf 1 Milliarde NOK. Die Investitionen lagen bei 1,6 Milliarden NOK, einschließlich etwa 1,1 Milliarden NOK, die an Qatalum geknüpft sind. Die Investitionen für Qatalum dürften im vierten Quartal das gleiche Niveau erreichen. Die Nettoliquidität von Hydro betrug am Ende des Quartals 6,9 Milliarden NOK.
 
Die geplante Übernahme des Aluminiumgeschäfts von Vale in Brasilien, die im Mai bekanntgegeben wurde, dürfte im vierten Quartal abgeschlossen werden. Hydro hat eine Preissicherung für den Großteil des Aluminiums aus den zu übernehmenden Aktivitäten für etwa 2.400 US-Dollar je Tonne bis Ende 2011 durch Hedging vorgenommen. Um die Transaktion teilweise zu finanzieren, das Investment Grade-Rating des Unternehmens zu bestätigen und die Kapazität, künftige Projekte verwirklichen zu können, zu wahren, lancierte Hydro eine gänzlich garantierte Bezugsrechtsemission zur Erhöhung des Eigenkapitals des Unternehmens um 10 Milliarden NOK. Die Bezugsrechtsemission wurde am 16. Juli 2010 erfolgreich abgeschlossen.

Mehr auf Englisch: 
For further information please refer to the Information Memorandum and Prospectus dated 2 June 2010 and 21 June 2010 respectively. 

Key financial information
NOK million, except per share data Third
quarter
2010
Second
quarter
2010
% change prior quarter Third
quarter
2009
% change prior year quarter First 9
months
2010
First 9
months
2009
Year
2009
                 
Revenue 18,424 19,779 (7) % 16,795 10 % 56,348 50,982 67,409
                 
Earnings before financial items and tax (EBIT) 274 1,157 (76) % 719 (62) % 2,417 (469) (1,407)
Items excluded from underlying EBIT 690 (47)   (1,512)   347 (1,435) (1,148)
Underlying EBIT 965 1,110 (13) % (793) >100 % 2,763 (1,904) (2,555)
                 
Underlying EBIT:              
Primary Metal 399 657 (39) % (760) >100 % 1,007 (1,839) (2,556)
Metal Markets 163 31 >100 % (15) >100 % 259 (63) (83)
Rolled Products 227 309 (27) % 51 >100 % 759 (31) 26
Extruded Products 102 201 (49) % 95 8 % 420 (136) (67)
Energy 169 177 (5) % 217 (22) % 934 945 1,240
Other and eliminations (95) (265) 64 % (381) 75 % (616) (781) (1,114)
Underlying EBIT 965 1,110 (13) % (793) >100 % 2,763 (1,904) (2,555)
                 
Net income (loss) (63) 598 >(100) % 1,001 >(100) % 1,460 1,003 416
                 
Underlying net income (loss) 545 530 3 % (1,222) >100 % 1,476 (2,274) (3,066)
                 
Earnings per share (0.07) 0.40 >(100) % 0.79 >(100) % 0.93 0.68 0.24
                 
Underlying earnings per share 0.33 0.34 (4) % (0.96) >100 % 0.94 (1.89) (2.50)
                 
Financial data:              
Investments 1,591 1,261 26 % 2,126 (25) % 4,618 3,576 5,947
Adjusted net interest-bearing debt (8,280) (18,191) 54 % (19,044) 57 % (8,280) (19,044) (15,645)
                 
Key Operational information
Primary aluminium production (kmt) 355 362 (2) % 330 8 % 1,055 1,064 1,396
Realized aluminium price LME (USD/mt) 2,179 2,200 (1) % 1,523 43 % 2,125 1,667 1,698
Realized aluminium price LME (NOK/mt) 13,503 13,302 2 % 9,480 42 % 12,753 10,851 10,764
Realized NOK/USD exchange rate 6.20 6.05 2 % 6.22 - 6.00 6.51 6.34
Metal Markets sales volumes to external market (kmt) 429 457 (6) % 395 9 % 1,300 1,093 1,468
Rolled Products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 239 242 (2) % 205 17 % 712 583 794
Extruded Products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 134 141 (5) % 118 13 % 402 337 453
Power production (GWh) 1,479 1,621 (9) % 1,682 (12) % 5,881 5,968 7,897

About Hydro's reporting

To provide a better understanding of Hydro's underlying performance, the following discussion of operating performance excludes certain items from EBIT (earnings before financial items and tax) and net income. See "Items excluded from underlying EBIT and net income" for more information on these items.

Reported EBIT and net income

Reported EBIT for Hydro amounted to NOK 274 million for the third quarter of 2010 including net negative effects of NOK 690 million comprised of net unrealized derivative losses of NOK 524 million, negative metal effects of NOK 52 million and impairment charges relating to Qatalum amounting to NOK 114 million.
 
In the previous quarter, reported EBIT for Hydro amounted to NOK 1,157 million including net positive effects of NOK 47 million comprised of net unrealized derivative losses of NOK 292 million, positive metal effects of NOK 206 million and other positive effects of NOK 133 million, mainly related to changes in pension plans in Norway.
 
Hydro incurred a net loss for the quarter amounting to NOK 63 million including net foreign exchange losses of NOK 246 million. In the second quarter, net income amounted to NOK 598 million including net foreign exchange gains of NOK 59 million.

Market developments and outlook

LME prices increased during the quarter with some volatility. Three month prices started the quarter at a level of around USD 1,950 per mt and ended at USD 2,348 per mt. Average LME three month prices for the third quarter was stable compared to the second quarter.
 
Global demand for primary aluminium excluding China weakened in the third quarter due to seasonal effects as well as lower levels of customer restocking. Annualized consumption and production amounted to 23.7 million mt and 25.1 million mt respectively. Primary aluminium consumption outside China is expected to amount to about 24 million tonnes in 2010 representing around 17 percent growth from 2009. The current market surplus is expected to continue at a level around 1 million tonnes.
 
Demand for primary aluminium in China decreased from the previous quarter to around 17 million mt on an annual basis. Production also declined due to energy savings targets, resulting in a largely balanced market during the quarter.
 
LME stocks were relatively stable around 4.4 million mt during the quarter.
 
European demand for metal products (extrusion ingot, sheet ingot, foundry alloys and wire rod) was seasonally lower in third quarter compared to the second quarter while demand improved somewhat in the US market.
 
Consumption in the European flat rolled products market was seasonally lower in the quarter compared to the second quarter of 2010. Most of the demand recovery from the low levels experienced in the previous year appears to have been realized in the first nine months of 2010 and restocking activities are softening. Demand is expected to be stable or somewhat lower for the remainder of the year but with a normal seasonal decline.
 
European demand for extruded aluminium products was seasonally lower compared with the second quarter of 2010. Overall demand in the European and US extrusion markets is expected to be stable in the fourth quarter but with a normal seasonal decline. Demand recovery in the construction segment is expected to remain slow.
 
Nordic electricity spot prices were slightly higher in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The Nordic hydrological balance continues to be negative in particular due to low reservoir levels in Norway.

Additional factors impacting Hydro

Hydro has sold forward substantially all of its primary aluminium production for the fourth quarter at a price level of around USD 2,050 per mt, excluding expected Qatalum production.
 
For the fourth quarter, Hydro expects its share of underlying results for Qatalum to amount to a loss of about NOK 400 million excluding any insurance reimbursement. Insurance is expected to cover a majority of the loss related to the power outage. The first payment from the insurers is expected to be requested during the fourth quarter of 2010.
 
In the autumn of 2009, Hydro launched a cost improvement program in order to reduce conversion costs by USD 100 per mt of primary aluminium produced by the end of 2011, compared to the 2009 level. The program is on schedule. To further improve the competitiveness of Hydro's wholly-owned smelters and restore their profitability to a sustainable level the improvement ambition has been increased to USD 300 per mt. The program is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
 
Due to low power production during the second and third quarters, Hydro's reservoirs were approaching normal levels in the middle of October and we expect high power production in the fourth quarter.
 
During 2009, Hydro curtailed production capacity and reduced production at several plants. If it becomes necessary to permanently close plants that have been curtailed on a temporary basis, additional substantial closure costs will be incurred.

Primary Metal

Underlying results for Primary Metal declined during the quarter compared to the second quarter mainly due to expected lower results for Alumina and Raw materials in addition to increased losses for Qatalum following a power outage at the smelter in August.
 
Alumina and Raw Materials' underlying results declined during the quarter as expected. Alunorte incurred an underlying loss for the quarter as a result of lower alumina prices and higher energy and bauxite costs. Energy costs increased more significantly due to a maintenance shutdown of the coal boilers at the plant that required the use of higher cost alternative fuel. Production volumes declined somewhat mainly due to maintenance activities. Underlying results in the second quarter were positively impacted by a settlement of a claim for business interruption insurance.
 
Underlying results for alumina commercial activities declined in the third quarter mainly due to lower volumes and unrealized losses on LME forward contracts compared to unrealized gains in the previous quarter. Related gains and losses on physical contracts are not recognized in underlying results until realized.
 
Underlying results for Primary Aluminium were impacted by increased losses for Qatalum relating to lost production and sales due to a power outage which stopped production at the plant. Impairment charges relating to the incident amounting to NOK 114 million, primarily related to damaged metal in the cells, are excluded from underlying EBIT. Ramp-up of the plant restarted in the middle of September. The plant is expected to reach full production at the end of the first quarter of 2011.
 
Realized aluminium prices were stable during the quarter declining slightly measured in US dollars but increasing somewhat measured in Norwegian kroner contributing about NOK 60 million to underlying EBIT compared to the second quarter. Higher realized premiums contributed roughly NOK 85 million. Seasonally lower sales volumes had a negative impact on underlying results amounting to around NOK 120 million for the quarter.
 
Variable costs increased by roughly NOK 100 million during the quarter mainly due to higher petroleum coke prices. Higher variable costs were offset by lower fixed costs for the quarter.

Metal Markets

Underlying EBIT for Metal Markets increased during the quarter compared with the second quarter mainly due to positive currency effects amounting to approximately NOK 120 million resulting from the strengthening Euro against the US dollar. The positive effects were partly offset by lower underlying EBIT for our metal sourcing and trading operations. Currency effects in the second quarter were negative amounting to about NOK 140 million.
 
Underlying results from remelt operations were stable compared with the second quarter. Negative effects from lower production and sales volumes as a result of seasonal maintenance shutdowns were offset by higher operating margins.
 
Total metal sales from own production and third party contracts decreased somewhat compared with the second quarter of 2010 mainly due to seasonally lower shipments of extrusion ingots in all markets sectors.
 
Underlying EBIT declined for our metal sourcing and trading operations for the quarter. Operating margins improved but hedging losses relating to standard ingot inventories had a negative impact on underlying results amounting to NOK 70 million. Offsetting gains on physical inventories are not recognized in underlying results until realized. In the second quarter, realized gains on physical inventories amounted to NOK 60 million.
 
In total, currency effects and the inventory related hedging gains and losses had a net positive effect of about NOK 50 million in the third quarter compared with a net negative impact of NOK 80 million in the second quarter. Excluding these effects, Metal Markets' operating performance was stable for the quarter.

Rolled Products

Underlying EBIT for Rolled Products declined compared with the second quarter of 2010 due to lower margins and somewhat lower sales volumes due to seasonality.
 
Most market segments experienced expected seasonal declines. General engineering sales volumes declined by 5 percent but underlying demand was stable. Volumes for automotive applications were 2 percent lower due to OEM's holiday period. Shipments for the construction segment were 15 percent lower also due to the holiday period. However, demand was firm and production was close to available capacities. Lithography shipments declined by 3 percent with somewhat weaker market demand at the end of the third quarter. Other product segments were stable or improved. Shipment of thin gauge foil applications increased 5 percent based on a good demand. Demand for the can beverage segment was strong but shipments were on same level as in the second quarter limited by capacity constraints.
 
Margins were negatively impacted mainly by higher metal premiums and inbound freight costs in addition to currency effects on export sales. Cost focus continued and cost per mt declined further compared with the second quarter. Labor productivity also continued to improve compared to the second quarter and was above the level achieved in 2008 even though volumes continued to be lower.

Extruded Products

Underlying results for Extruded Products decreased compared with the second quarter of 2010 due to seasonally lower volumes, increased maintenance costs and slightly lower margins in most business sectors.
 
Our extrusion operations in Europe and the Americas delivered somewhat lower volumes compared with the second quarter reflecting lower seasonal demand. Volumes for our building systems operations declined about 14 percent as the recovery in the building and construction markets remains weak. In particular, demand in southern Europe fell in the third quarter partly due to reduced public spending. Volumes for our precision tubing business were also seasonally down falling by around 8 percent. Volumes were also impacted by capacity constraints at our plants in China and Brazil, where market growth is strong. Overall demand in the automotive market continued to improve but at a lower growth rate. Margins were somewhat lower for most business sectors. Planned shutdowns resulted in higher maintenance costs compared with the second quarter.

Energy

Underlying EBIT for Energy declined somewhat compared to the second quarter of 2010. Production declined further during the quarter influenced by low reservoir levels. Lower production costs partly offset the negative impact of the reduced production volumes.

Other and eliminations

Underlying EBIT for Other and eliminations amounted to a charge of NOK 95 million in the third quarter compared with a charge of NOK 265 million in the previous quarter and a charge of NOK 381 million in the third quarter of 2009. Underlying EBIT includes the elimination of internal gains and losses on inventories purchased from group companies which amounted to an income of NOK 24 million in the third quarter compared with a charge of NOK 85 million in the previous quarter and a charge of NOK 131 million in the third quarter of 2009. Underlying EBIT for Other and eliminations for the second quarter included costs related to the acquisition of Vale's aluminium operations of about NOK 50 million.
 
Hydro's solar activities incurred an underlying loss of NOK 19 million in the third quarter compared with a loss of NOK 47 million in the previous quarter and a loss of NOK 18 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Items excluded from underlying EBIT and net income

To provide a better understanding of Hydro's underlying performance, the items in the table below have been excluded from EBIT and net income.
 
Items excluded from underlying EBIT are comprised mainly of unrealized gains and losses on certain derivatives, impairment and rationalization charges, effects of disposals of businesses and operating assets, as well as other items that are of a special nature or are not expected to be incurred on an ongoing basis.
 
Linked to the agreement to acquire the majority of Vale's aluminium businesses in Brazil (Vale Aluminium) it was decided to hedge the majority of the net aluminium price exposure in Vale Aluminium until end 2011. The hedges are aimed at mitigating the risk of a weaker aluminium price and will secure a robust cash flow from the acquired assets in the transition phase. The hedges are not conditional upon completion of the transaction. The significant part of the positions expiring after closing of the transaction are subject to hedge accounting and included in other comprehensive income. Recognized unrealized and realized effects of positions not subject to hedge accounting are classified as items excluded from underlying EBIT.

Items excluded from underlying net income
NOK million Third
quarter
2010
Second
quarter
2010
Third
quarter
2009
First 9
months
2010
First 9
months
2009
Year
2009
             
Unrealized derivative effects on LME related contracts 515 389 (1,406) 651 (1,902) (2,630)
Derivative effects on LME related contracts (Vale Aluminium) 99 (320) - (221) - -
Unrealized derivative effects on power contracts (25) 211 (54) 458 (516) (198)
Unrealized derivative effects on currency contracts (65) 12 (102) (30) (325) (345)
Metal effect, Rolled Products 52 (206) (141) (468) 746 588
Significant rationalization charges and closure costs - 18 30 (1) 453 518
Impairment charges (PP&E and equity accounted investments) 114 - 286 175 300 438
Pension - (151) (52) (151) (52) (52)
Insurance compensation - - (73) - (139) (152)
(Gains)/losses on divestments - - - (67) - 684
Items excluded from underlying EBIT 690 (47) (1,512) 347 (1,435) (1,148)
Net foreign exchange (gain)/loss 246 (59) (992) (281) (2,559) (2,774)
Calculated income tax effect (328) 38 280 (49) 716 441
Items excluded from underlying net income 608 (68) (2,224) 16 (3,277) (3,481)

Finance

Financial expense amounted to NOK 218 million in the second quarter compared with financial expense of NOK 97 million in the previous quarter.
 
Interest income increased in the third quarter due to higher cash balances. In the second quarter, interest expense was higher due to interest on tax claims in Germany.
 
Currency losses in the third quarter mainly related to US dollar financial assets, due to weaker US dollar against the Norwegian kroner. There were no significant currency gains or losses on intercompany balances in the third quarter.1)
 
In the second quarter, currency gains on intercompany balances denominated in Euro amounted to NOK 151 million, due to a weaker Euro against the Norwegian kroner. Other net currency losses amounted to NOK 92 million.

Tax

Income tax expense amounted to a charge of NOK 119 million in the third quarter compared with a charge of NOK 462 million in the previous quarter and a charge of NOK 707 million in the third quarter of 2009.
 
For the first nine months of 2010 income tax expense was roughly 45 percent of pre-tax income. The high tax rate for the third quarter reflects mainly the losses in Qatalum, an equity accounted investment, in which earnings are recognized net of tax.