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First quarter of 2015: record result thanks to higher sales and positive exchange rate developments

Hydro reported adjusted earnings before financial items and taxes of NOK 3,208 million in the first quarter, compared to NOK 2,886 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The result reflects higher sales across the value chain and a stronger US dollar.

  • Record high adjusted quarterly EBIT of NOK 3,208 million
  • Higher sales in the value chain
  • Positive exchange rate development
  • Acquisition of the latest scrap sorting technology in Germany
  • Reduced market scarcity due to Chinese semi-finished product exports

“I am pleased that for the second time in a row since Hydro became a pure aluminum company in 2007, we are able to present a record quarterly result. We will continue our improvement programs and at the same time look for further measures to expand these efforts, ”says CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

Adjusted EBIT for the Bauxite & amp; Alumina improved again in the first quarter, reflecting higher alumina sales and the stronger US dollar. The result was also supported by improvements in costs and revenues thanks to the "From B to A" improvement program. Negative effects from the lower LME prices linked to the LME were partially offset by an increase in alumina sales at indexed prices. The extended maintenance of a ball mill at Paragominas has ended and the bauxite mine is now fully producing again.

The Primary Metal business unit recorded a slight increase in adjusted EBITS, which is due to a further increase in aluminum prices and product premiums in Norwegian kroner. The positive development was partially offset by higher alumina and electricity costs, reflecting higher prices and negative currency effects.

“We operate in a very competitive market, which underlines the importance of continuing our efforts to improve our position. We aim to further optimize our portfolio. This includes the acquisition of the world's most modern scrap sorting technology, the construction of a plant for recycling used beverage cans, and a new production line for sheet metal in Germany. We are taking a leading role in the growing European market, ”says Brandtzæg.

Metal Markets posted a significantly lower result than in the fourth quarter. It was impacted by negative results from trading activity as a result of a decrease in premiums for press bolts. The negative results were partially offset by better results of remelting activities thanks to higher product premiums and the seasonally higher sales volumes in Europe.

The Rolled Products division achieved a higher adjusted EBIT than in the fourth quarter of 2014. The main reasons for this were the seasonally higher sales, higher operating margins and currency gains on export sales.

Adjusted EBIT in the Energy division increased compared to the fourth quarter thanks to higher electricity generation, which was partly offset by lower prices and rising production costs.

Adjusted EBIT for Sapa increased compared to the previous quarter thanks to seasonally higher demand, continued strong growth in North America and the positive effects of the improvement programs.

Cash flow from operations was NOK 1.4 billion in the first quarter. Cash flow for investing activities was NOK 0.9 billion. Hydro's net debt was NOK 0.3 billion at the end of the first quarter. It was influenced by currency translation effects of around NOK 0.7 billion, which was mainly due to the strengthening of the US dollar against the Norwegian krone.

Reported earnings before financial items and taxes were NOK 3,206 million in the first quarter. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the reported EBIT included unrealized gains from derivatives and positive metal effects totaling NOK 72 million. The reported result also included costs of NOK 74 million (Hydro's stake) for Sapa, mostly related to unrealized losses from derivatives.

In the previous quarter, adjusted earnings before interest and taxes were NOK 2,295 million, including unrealized losses from derivatives and positive metal effects, which totaled a loss of NOK 72 million. The reported result also included NOK 145 million depreciation linked to the Slim mill in Italy. In addition, the reported EBIT included NOK 337 million (Hydros share) linked to Sapa, mainly for valuation adjustments and restructuring costs, as well as other costs of NOK 36 million.

Earnings after taxes were NOK 1,072 million in the first quarter, including a net currency loss of NOK 1,587 million, mainly due to the stronger US dollar. Hydro had reported a net loss of NOK 168 million in the previous quarter, which included a currency loss of NOK 2,252 million.

More in English:

Key financial information
NOK million, except per share data First
quarter
2015
Fourth
quarter
2014
% change prior quarter First
quarter
2014
% change prior year quarter Year
2014
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Revenue 23,290 21,656 8% 18,282 27% 77.907
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Earnings before financial items and tax (EBIT) 3,206 2,295 40% 822 & gt; 100% 5,674
Items excluded from underlying EBIT 2 591 (100)% (50) & gt; 100% 18
Underlying EBIT 3,208 2,886 11% 772 & gt; 100% 5,692
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying EBIT: & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Bauxite & amp; Alumina 780 528 48% (288) & gt; 100% (55)
Primary Metal 2,012 1,989 1% 312 & gt; 100 3,937
Metal Markets 24 221 (89)% 141 (83)% 634
Rolled Products 292 96 & gt; 100 181 62% 698
Energy 382 360 6% 435 (12)% 1,197
Other and eliminations 1) (281) (308) 9% (8) & gt; (100)% (717)
Underlying EBIT 3,208 2,886 11% 772 & gt; (100)% 5,692
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying EBITDA 4,437 4.170 6% 1,861 & gt; 100% 10,299
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Underlying income (loss) from discontinued operations 1) - - - - - -
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Net income (loss) 1,072 (168) & gt; 100% 462 & gt; 100% 1,228
Underlying net income (loss) 2,206 1,979 11% 388 & gt; 100% 3,728
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Earnings per share 0.46 (0.18) & gt; 100% 0.19 & gt; 100% 0.39
Underlying earnings per share 0.95 0.83 14% 0.16 & gt; 100% 1.55
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Financial data: & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Investments 2) 802 1,449 (45)% 546 47% 3,625
Adjusted net interest-bearing debt (13,478) & nbsp; (13,587) 1% (11,230) (20)% (13,587)
& nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Key operational information
Alumina production (kmt) 1,451 1,501 (3)% 1,428 2% 5,933
Primary aluminum production (kmt) 497 499 (1)% 484 3% 1.958
Realized aluminum price LME (USD / mt) 1,897 1,997 (5)% 1,749 8% 1,850
Realized aluminum price LME (NOK / mt) 3) 14.383 13,355 8% 10.702 34% 11.624
Realized NOK / USD exchange rate 3) 7.58 6.69 13% 6.12 24% 6.28
Metal products sales, total Hydro & (nbsp; (kmt) 4) 767 768 - 869 (12)% 3,274
Rolled Products sales volumes to external market (kmt) 227 213 7% 243 (6)% 946
Power production (GWh) 3,071 2,823 9% 2,964 4% 10.206
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