American aluminium smelter Century Aluminum released third-quarter results on Thursday. Like all firms, the company felt an impact from the economic struggle caused by COVID-19, but management says both the firm and the market are recovering.
Shipments for the third quarter totaled 203,022 metric tons, down by 3 percent on the year from the second quarter’s shipments of 210,309 metric tons. Net sales were off by 2 percent in the quarter, falling from US$401.9 million in the second quarter to US$392.9 million in the third quarter.
Century reported a net loss for the third quarter of US$58.2 million, declining on the second quarter’s net loss of US$26.9 million. Adjusted EBITDA fell into the red for the third quarter, descending from US$4.7 million in the second quarter to US$(31.4) million in the third quarter. The firm blamed the low financial results on a drop in both regional and London Metal Exchange premiums and a jump in seasonal power costs.
Michael Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer, discussed the quarter’s results in a related press release.
“Our operations have remained resilient in the face of the continuing challenging environment. Safety performance has been good during the last several months; such a result is only achieved, especially during demanding times, through mutual commitment and vigilance. Given our success operating the plants sustainably through the health crisis, we have taken steps to return to a more typical operating profile. For example, we are now relining cells when required at all plants except Mt. Holly and have begun to implement projects with a longer-term view.”
Bless went on to say that the market continued to recover in the quarter, noting that both orders and product premiums are making their way back to pre-coronavirus levels.
“Financial performance for the quarter was consistent with the estimates we provided several months ago; of course, these results manifest the very low aluminum price levels which persisted from April through June. At current commodity prices, consolidated earnings and cash flow would be robust.”
Bless closed by expressing his disappointment with the situation at the Mt. Holly smelter, but he promised that the firm would continue to seek a solution that supports the local economy.