Alcoa's quarterly earnings jump on lower costs

Wednesday 09 July 2014 15.59
Alcoa is the first major US company to report second-quarter earnings
Alcoa is the first major US company to report second-quarter earnings

Aluminium producer Alcoa last night reported a jump in earnings on strong metals pricing and lower costs as it confirmed its outlook for 7% aluminium demand growth in 2014. 

Alcoa, the first major US company to report second-quarter earnings, said net income for the period ending June 30 was $138m, up from a loss of $119m the same time last year. 

Revenues were $5.84 billion, down slightly from $5.85 billion. Total costs fell from $5.98 billion a year ago to $5.63 billion.

"Our second quarter results prove Alcoa's transformation is in high gear," said Alcoa's chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld.

Kleinfeld pointed to moves to close low-return smelters and steer investment to "value-added" segments, such as light-weight aluminium for car and aviation makers concerned about fuel efficiency.

The company also reaffirmed key elements of its demand forecast. Alcoa said it still sees 2014 global aerospace demand growth of 8-9%, automotive growth of 1-4% and packaging growth of 2-3%. 

Alcoa increased up its estimate for North American commercial transportation to a range of 10-14% from 5-9%, citing rising truck orders. 

The results included one-time charges of $78m to cut inefficient operations. Alcoa closed two smelters in Brazil in the second quarter and plans to shut down another smelter in Australia in August.