Friendly Aluminium, Alumina Markets Help Strengthen Norsk Hydro’s Q4 Numbers

Friendly Aluminium, Alumina Markets Help Strengthen Norsk Hydro’s Q4 Numbers

Norwegian aluminium firm Norsk Hydro A.S.A. released financial results for the final quarter of 2017 on Friday. The firm’s numbers for the quarter showed marked improvement from the prior quarter thanks in large measure to a price rise in both alumina and aluminium prices.

Hydro’s revenue for the quarter totaled NOK38.8 billion, up 70 percent quarter-on-quarter form the prior quarter’s total of NOK22.8 billion, and up 83 percent from last year’s fourth-quarter revenue of NOK21.3 billion. Revenue for the year totaled NOK109 billion, an increase from 2016’s total of NOK81.9 billion.

EBITDA in the fourth quarter came to NOK6.5 billion, a 72-percent improvement over the previous quarter’s total of NOK3.8 billion, and better by 82 percent year-on-year from last year’s fourth-quarter EBITDA of NOK3.6 billion. The year’s total EBITDA came in at NOK18.3 billion, an improvement from 2016’s EBITDA of NOK12.5 billion.

Net income in the quarter totaled NOK3.6 billion, a 65-percent increase over the third-quarter net of NOK2.2 billion, and an improvement three times over from last year’s fourth-quarter net of NOK1 billion. Net income for the year totaled NOK9.2 billion, an improvement over 2016’s net of NOK6.6 billion.

Production in the quarter was largely steady as compared to previous quarters. Hydro mined 3,049 thousand metric tons of bauxite, essentially identical to both the prior quarter and last year’s fourth quarter. The firm mined 11,435 thousand metric tons of bauxite in 2017, up from 11,132 thousand metric tons the year previous.

Alumina production in the quarter totaled 1,693 thousand metric tons, up 5 percent from the third quarter’s refining total of 1,605 thousand metric tons, and better by 4 percent from last year’s fourth-quarter total of 1,635 thousand metric tons. All in, Hydro’s 2017 refining total was 6,397 thousand metric tons, up slightly from 2016’s total of 6,341 thousand metric tons.

Hydro smelted 528 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium in the fourth quarter, which was essentially identical to both the previous quarter and the previous year’s fourth quarter. The firm’s total smelted aluminium in 2017 came to 2,094 thousand metric tons, up marginally from 2016’s total of 2,085 thousand metric tons.

President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg declared that the previous year was one of transition for the firm.

“2017 marks the start of new chapter in Hydro’s history. With the Sapa acquisition, Hydro is now the world’s leading integrated aluminium company, with 35,000 employees in 40 countries serving 30,000 customers globally. I am pleased with the strong, full-year and quarterly results, supported by higher aluminium and alumina prices. I am also pleased to see the Better improvement program on track to reach the increased 2019 target of NOK 3.0 billion.”

Going forward, Brandtzæg saw a strengthening global aluminium market.

“We maintain the view of a balanced market outlook for primary aluminium, with a 2018 global demand growth outlook of 4-5%, driven by solid demand for aluminium from automotive and construction markets.”

Norsk Hydro, which was founded in 1905, financed by the Swedish Wallenberg family and French banks, began its life named Norsk hydro-elektrisk Kvælstofaktieselskab (literally, “Norwegian hydro-electric nitrogen limited”) by Sam Eyde. The Norwegian government owns approximately 40% of the company at the present time. Norsk Hydro is one of the largest aluminium companies in the world, with plants in Rjukan, Raufoss, Vennesla, Karmøy, Høyanger, Årdal, Sunndalsøra, and Holmestrand. Norsk also has several plants abroad, including in Germany and Brazil.