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Fourth quarter of 2009

Europe's largest aluminum supplier Hydro reported an adjusted loss before financial items and taxes of CZK 651 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, the corresponding loss in the previous quarter was CZK 793 million. The slight improvement is due to higher aluminum prices.

  • Higher aluminum prices achieved, but weak results for aluminum oxide and trading
  • Better results from continuing processing activities, positively influenced by Building Systems
  • Stable demand for aluminum products, seasonal decline partially offset by inventory build
  • Energy earnings rise due to higher production and spot prices for electricity
  • Start of production at Qatalum in December, everything is running according to schedule in terms of full production in the fourth quarter of 2010
  • Sale of automotive structures and the Inasa rolling mill completed
  • Slight increase in demand for aluminum expected in the first half of 2010 compared to the second half of 2009
  • Proposed dividend of NOK 0.50 per share

Hydro reached a very important milestone in December when the first electrolytic cell in Qatalum went into operation. All 704 cells in the world's leading smelter in Qatar are expected to reach full production in the fourth quarter.

“The fourth quarter was shaped by the planned start of Qatalum. This smelter is one of the most cost-effective in the world and a good example of Hydro's excellent project management skills. We have seen the global aluminum market gradually recover after hitting a low in the first few months of last year. We expect moderate growth in the first half of 2010. Nevertheless, the market situation remains difficult and we are cautious about the prospects for 2010, ”explains CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
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Despite massive corrective measures in the 2009 financial year, the results are still weak, which is one constant focus on operations and strict cost control.

“Our cost position in the production area is too high. We have therefore announced new measures to improve operations in our smelters, and we will continue to adapt the organization and operations to changes in market conditions, ”adds Brandtzæg.
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Hydro has in the fourth Quarterly sales of Automotive Structures and the Spanish rolling mill Inasa. Reported fourth quarter results also include a post-tax loss of 400 million kroner related to these transactions.

Higher aluminum prices in the fourth quarter improved the adjusted result for the Production area at. However, the positive effect of higher aluminum prices was offset by a negative trend in aluminum oxide. Weak trading results also had a negative impact on adjusted results for the quarter.
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Apart from the increased loss of the Automotive Structures unit, which was sold at the end of the year, adjusted results in the Rolled Products and continued operations in the Extruded Products business area continued to recover in the quarter, although the quarter is generally weak due to the season. Overall demand for aluminum products was relatively stable, with a seasonal decline, which was partially offset by customer inventory build.


2009 - Production cuts and cost savings Adjusted EBIT for the Energy business area increased from the third to fourth quarters, mainly due to higher spot prices for electricity and increasing production.

In the production area, Hydro cut back the expensive production of aluminum and aluminum oxide in 2009 and made considerable reductions in the remelting area. In the finishing area, the focused cost-cutting measures offset a significant proportion of the losses caused by the market downturn. This has contributed to making these activities profitable again in the second half of 2009. The results in the Energy business area decreased in 2009 compared to 2008, the main reason for this was low electricity generation.
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2009 was characterized by continuous adjustments to the extraordinary market decline. We brought the cost position under control and geared the company toward future growth, ”said Brandtzæg.
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Net cash flow from operating activities was CZK 2.0 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter it amounts to 1.6 billion crowns. Investments in the quarter amounted to 2.4 billion crowns, 1.2 billion of which are linked to Qatalum. Hydro had a net cash position of CZK 2.0 billion at the end of 2009.
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For 2009 as a whole, the adjusted loss before financial items and taxes was CZK 2,555 million, while the adjusted EBIT for 2008 was CZK 6,009 million. Earnings were heavily impacted by the global market downturn, which resulted in an 18 percent reduction in total revenue compared to 2008.
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Adjusted EBIT for fiscal 2009 was affected by the sharp fall in aluminum prices, which started at the end of 2008 and continued at the beginning of 2009, was strongly influenced. Hydro reacted quickly to the collapse of the global aluminum market, both fixed and variable costs were significantly reduced in the company, based on the year as a whole.
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Hydro's Board of Directors proposes a dividend of 0.50 for 2009 Crowns per share. This reflects the company's strong commitment to its shareholders. The decision is based on the improved outlook for the market and results compared to early 2009, as well as Hydro's liquidity.

  • In the right column you will find links to web TV, conference call, stock exchange announcement, complete report for the quarter and comments from the business areas.
Key financial information
NOK million, except per share data Fourth
quarter
2009
Third
quarter
2009
% change prior quarter Fourth
quarter
2008
% change prior year quarter Year
2009
Year
2008
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Revenue 16,427 16.795 (2)% 20.665 (21)% 67.409 88,455
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Earnings before financial items and tax (EBIT) (938) 719 & gt; (100)% (3,106) 70% (1,407) 1,194
Items excluded from underlying EBIT 287 (1,512) & nbsp; 3,975 & nbsp; (1,148) 4,815
Underlying EBIT (651) (793) 18% 868 & gt; (100)% (2,555) 6.009
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying EBIT: & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Primary Metal (717) (760) 6% 93 & gt; (100)% (2,556) 2,732
Metal Markets (20) (15) (32)% 242 & gt; (100)% (83) 703
Rolled Products 57 51 12% 93 (39)% 26 651
Extruded Products 68 95 (28)% (332) & gt; 100% (67) 338
Energy 295 217 36% 649 (55)% 1,240 1,865
Other and eliminations (334) (381) 12% 124 & gt; (100)% (1,114) (279)
Underlying EBIT (651) (793) 18% 868 & gt; (100)% (2,555) 6.009
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Income (loss) from continuing operations (587) 1.001 & gt; (100)% (5,845) 90% 416 (3,267)
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying income (loss) from continuing operations (791) (1,222) 35% (184) & gt; (100)% (3,066) 3,579
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Earnings per share from continuing operations (0.47) 0.83 & gt; (100)% (4.99) 91% 0.25 (3.04)
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying earnings per share from continuing operations (0.64) (1.01) 37% (0.29) & gt; (100)% (2.64) 2.62
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Financial data: & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Investments 2,371 2,126 11% 2,749 (14)% 5,947 9,012
Adjusted net interest-bearing debt (15,645) (19,044) 18% (15,440) (1)% (15,645) (15,440)
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Key operational information
Primary aluminum production (kmt) 332 330 1% 442 (25)% 1,396 1,750
Realized aluminum price LME (USD / mt) & nbsp; & nbsp; 1.804 & nbsp; & nbsp; 1,523 18% & nbsp; & nbsp; 2,654 (32)% & nbsp; & nbsp; 1,698 & nbsp; & nbsp; 2,638
Realized aluminum price LME (NOK / mt) & nbsp; & nbsp; 10,452 & nbsp; & nbsp; 9,480 10% & nbsp; & nbsp; 16,905 (38)% & nbsp; & nbsp; & 10,764 & nbsp; & nbsp; 14,699
Realized NOK / USD exchange rate 5.80 6.22 (7)% 6.37 (9)% 6.34 5.57
Rolled Products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 211 205 3% 213 (1)% 794 965
Extrusion products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 101 104 (3)% 103 (2)% 401 488
Automotive products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 25 24 7% 18 43% 87 105
Power production (GWh) 1,929 1,682 15% 2,813 (31)% 7,897 11,361
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