Century Aluminum’s Losses Deepen In First Quarter

Century Aluminum’s Losses Deepen In First Quarter

Chicago-based aluminium smelter Century Aluminum released production and financial results for the year’s first quarter earlier this week.

In the year’s first quarter Century shipped 195,697 metric tons of product, greater by 757 thousand metric tons on the year. Net sales rose on the year last quarter, from US$389.1 million in 2020 to US$444 million this year, which it credits to a rise in aluminium prices and regional premiums. However, net losses expanded in the quarter, falling from US$35.5 million last year to US$140 million this year.

Meanwhile, adjusted losses expanded in the quarter as well, from US$30.6 million in last year’s first quarter to US$52.5 million at the end of last quarter. Adjusted EBITDA also suffered, reversing from an US$800 thousand gain to a US$540 thousand loss.

“Industry conditions have continued to improve, reflecting the pace and level of general manufacturing activity,” commented Michael Bless, Century’s CEO and president. “The global primary aluminum market is in balance, and global inventories continue to fall. The availability of prompt metal units in our key markets remains constrained, driven by robust demand and the limited global capacity additions. The outlook for the industry remains uniformly healthy.”

“We made good progress on many important initiatives during the quarter. Hawesville has returned to stability, and the team has begun the process of restoring the capacity impacted by the equipment malfunctions in late December; in addition, we were pleased to reach a new five-year labor contract which provides a solid base for the plant’s stability, growth and development. The new power contract for Mt. Holly was approved by all required parties, and began as scheduled on April 1; we have started the rebuild activity that will bring this excellent plant to 75 percent of its design capacity. Finally, the recently completed debt refinancing lowers Century’s cost of capital and provides incremental liquidity,” concluded Bless.