“Trade wars, Brexit uncertainty, weak markets and the embargo in Alunorte have weighed on our financial result in 2019. In addition, a malicious and sophisticated cyber-attack hit us hard last spring. I am immensely proud of how our people and organization handled the situation, working day and night to recover,” Aasheim says.
“On our 2019 Investor Day, we announced ambitious targets to lift profitability and drive long-term shareholder value. We launched a NOK 7.3 billion improvement program to be delivered by 2023, including a strategic review of the Rolled Products business area, and a capital returns target of 10 percent over the cycle (RoaCE). I am pleased to see that all business areas are making progress towards their 2023 targets, under challenging market conditions,” Aasheim continues.
“Our new strategic agenda is based on cost-competitive assets, operational excellence, strong market positions, innovation and differentiation on sustainable processes and products,” Aasheim says.
“In my view we cannot achieve profitability in the long run without operating and producing in a sustainable way. I see it as an ethical responsibility, but also as a business opportunity, to make the carbon footprint of our products a competitive edge,” Aasheim says.
“In August 2019, we launched two new greener brands: Hydro REDUXA, with one of the world’s lowest carbon footprint, and Hydro CIRCAL, produced with minimum 75 percent post-consumer scrap. I am happy to see that Hydro CIRCAL already is sold to more than 60 building projects in 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. This is a small, but promising illustration that there is a willingness to make greener choices in the marketplace when alternatives are offered. And this is only the beginning,” Aasheim says.
“Hydro’s sustainability agenda rests on three pillars: Climate, environment and social responsibility. We have a good starting point: A century-long history of sustainable industrial development, using hydropower to produce products that the world needs in a responsible manner. About 70 percent of the electricity used in our primary aluminium production is from renewable sources. Our new climate strategy – “30 by 2030” – calls for reducing our gross CO2 emissions by 30 percent throughout the value chain. We will do this through greener sourcing and greener production. We are also helping our customers reduce their footprint through our greener products,” Aasheim says.
“I am confident that we have set the right agenda for the company, and I am confident that our people have what it takes to embark on the opportunities ahead. We have the competence, engagement and dedication to deliver and transform Hydro into a profitable and sustainable company with a promising future,” Aasheim ends.
The report, meeting the Norwegian statutory requirements for annual reporting, is "Financial Statements and Board of Directors' Report – 2019." This report is available in Norwegian and English.
In addition, a more extensive report is available, "Annual Report – 2019," 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.
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.