“I’m grateful and impressed by how our organization kept the wheels turning, delivering on the improvement ambitions and positioning Hydro for the future, while always putting health and safety first,” she adds.
Aasheim points to significant progress toward Hydro’s ambition to lift profitability and drive sustainability.
“We have accelerated our improvement efforts in 2020. Our extended program targets NOK 8.5 billion by 2025 across all business areas and staffs. I am happy that we exceeded our improvement target and achieved savings of NOK 4.2 billion for 2020, amounting to about half of the overall 2025 ambition.
“This March we reached another milestone with the finalization of the strategic review of the Rolling business and with a conclusion to sell the business to the U.S.-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners. The agreement marks another step toward making Hydro a profitable and more sustainable industry leader – to the benefit of our employees, our customers and our shareholders,” Aasheim continues.
Among other milestones, Aasheim points to the successful verification of the Karmøy Technology Pilot in Norway in 2020, producing primary aluminium with 15 percent lower specific energy consumption and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared with the world average. Many of the same technology elements were implemented in the upgrade at the Husnes aluminium plant in Norway, which is ramping up to full capacity after running at half capacity since the financial crisis in 2009. Hydro also sees promising traction in the market for the low-carbon aluminium brand Hydro REDUXA and the Hydro CIRCAL brand produced with a minimum of 75 percent post-consumer scrap.
“On social responsibility we are progressing in our work to strengthen local community relations, communities and business partners through education and empowerment where we operate. We have high expectations to our pioneer tailings dry-backfill method at our Paragominas bauxite mine in Brazil, that will eliminate the need to establish new tailing dams,” Aasheim says.
“We take inspiration from our ability to mobilize as we face another important transformation: The green transition. In 2020, we established a new strategic direction toward 2025, building on our profitability and sustainability agenda. We will pursue our strategic ambition by capturing opportunities where our capabilities match the global megatrends such as sustainability, electrification and urbanization.
“The two pillars of our strategic agenda are about strengthening our position in low-carbon aluminium, while exploring new growth opportunities in areas such as recycling, renewable energy and batteries. This is how we will create value going forward.
“As a global energy and aluminium company, Hydro is committed to leading the way by creating more for less. With a new strategic direction, we embark on the next chapter in Hydro's history of building industries that matter and creating value by taking a lead role in the green transition, producing products and solutions for the low-carbon, circular economy,” says Aasheim.
The report, meeting the Norwegian statutory requirements for annual reporting, is "Financial Statements and Board of Directors' Report – 2020." This report is available in Norwegian and English.
In addition, a more extensive report is available, "Annual Report – 2020," with detailed information about Hydro's businesses, operational performance, financial performance, viability performance, corporate governance, environmental, social and financial statements. The report is available in English.
The information is such that Hydro is required to disclose in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication from Hydro Investor Relations and the contact persons set out above.
Certain statements included in this announcement contain forward-looking information, including, without limitation, information relating to (a) forecasts, projections and estimates, (b) statements of Hydro management concerning plans, objectives and strategies, such as planned expansions, investments, divestments, curtailments or other projects, (c) targeted production volumes and costs, capacities or rates, start-up costs, cost reductions and profit objectives, (d) various expectations about future developments in Hydro's markets, particularly prices, supply and demand and competition, (e) results of operations, (f) margins, (g) growth rates, (h) risk management, and (i) qualified statements such as "expected", "scheduled", "targeted", "planned", "proposed", "intended" or similar.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and forecasts that, by their nature, involve risk and uncertainty. Various factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in a forward-looking statement or affect the extent to which a particular projection is realized. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: our continued ability to reposition and restructure our upstream and downstream businesses; changes in availability and cost of energy and raw materials; global supply and demand for aluminium and aluminium products; world economic growth, including rates of inflation and industrial production; changes in the relative value of currencies and the value of commodity contracts; trends in Hydro's key markets and competition; and legislative, regulatory and political factors.
No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Hydro disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.