We attribute the performance to strong sales in historically strong aluminum markets and firm progress on our improvement agenda – but first and foremost we take great pride in our 31,000 employees who managed to maintain solid performance and focus during a global health crisis, they add.
The aluminium market has been strong during 2021, with global demand outpacing supply growth, reducing inventories and supporting LME prices above USD 3,000 per tonne. Along with the firm economic recovery, the business environment has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, energy shock and supply chain disruptions – and increasing expectations on climate and sustainability from customers, markets and regulators.
A safe and secure work environment
Safe operations are our first priority. There were no fatalities, nor life-changing injuries, in 2021. However, the total number of recordable injuries per million hours worked increased to 3.3 in 2021, up from 2.7 in 2020. The ultimate target is an injury-free work environment and to make sure that every employee returns home from work safely.
Profitability and sustainability
In 2021, we have taken key steps in the execution of our 2025 strategy, strengthening our low-carbon aluminium position as well as maturing business opportunities within new-energy solutions.
Over the past two years we have worked with determination to implement our agenda Lifting profitability, Driving sustainability. We are impressed with our organization’s ability to continuously focus on new improvement initiatives, even in times with strong markets.
We have lifted profitability across all our business areas and we delivered a return on capital employed of 18.6% in 2021, which is well above our target of 10% over the cycle. The Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of NOK 5.40 per share, equal to 80 percent of adjusted net income for 2021.
Last year, we announced our ambition of becoming net-zero in terms of direct and indirect emissions by 2050 or earlier.
The report meeting the Norwegian statutory requirements for annual reporting is "Financial Statements – 2021." This report is available in Norwegian and English.
In addition, a more extensive report is available, "Annual Report – 2021," 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.
This information is disclosed in accordance with requirements set out in 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.
: February 22, 2022