Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA released results for the first quarter of 2021 this week. Strong extruded aluminium demand and a better overall price for primary aluminium helped buoy the period’s numbers.
Revenue in the first quarter came to NOK31,951 million, up by 12 percent on the quarter and 1 percent on the year. Adjusted EBITDA figured in at NOK5,182 million, better by 53 percent on the quarter and 31 percent from last year.
Net income from continuing operations nearly reversed on the year, from a loss of NOK1,743 million to a gain of NOK1,880 million. Meanwhile, discontinued operations accounted for a loss of NOK380 million, worse by 35 percent on the year but better by 79 percent on the quarter.
As to production in the first quarter, Hydro mined 2,813 million metric tons of bauxite ore, better by 9 percent on the year and 10 percent on the quarter. Alumina production finished at 1,540 million metric tons in the first quarter, better by 1 percent than last year and 9 percent than the previous quarter. The firm smelted 539 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium last quarter, an increase of 2 percent on last year’s first quarter and 1 percent better than the previous quarter.
“I am pleased to see earnings and returns picking up across most of our operations on higher margins and volumes, but also on continued low costs, especially in Extrusions,” opined President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim in a related press release.
“The new growth initiatives in Hydro Energy are progressing well. We see a large potential for hydrogen replacing natural gas at our plants. We will therefore explore the potential for developing and operating hydrogen facilities to meet the large internal demand, as well as serving an external market, leveraging the company’s industrial and renewable power expertise.”
“We achieved an important milestone toward reaching our climate strategy and global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as we have made the investment decision for the fuel switch project at the Alunorte refinery in Brazil,” she concluded.
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.