Novelis December quarter net loss narrows to $12 mn

Novelis, the US unit of India's largest aluminum producer Hindalco Industries Ltd, narrowed its net loss for December quarter to $12 million, even as it cut its full-year adjusted EBITDA forecast for the second time on soft demand in Europe and Asia.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $2.5 billion, a decrease of 4 per cent compared to the $2.6 billion reported in the same period a year ago, mainly the result of lower shipments and a decrease in average aluminum prices compared to the same period last year.

"These are good results, particularly when you consider the market pressures we saw in most of our regions and the fact that this is our seasonally low quarter. Our business model serves as a competitive advantage by reducing our overall exposure in volatile market conditions," said Phil Martens, Novelis president and chief  executive.

Novelis expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $1.05-1.08 billion for 2012, lower than the $1.10-1.15 billion it forecast earlier.
''Our premium product portfolio, long-term customer base and business model are what differentiates us in our industry.

As a result of this, our EBITDA per ton was flat versus last year on a 9-per cent decline in shipments. Going forward, we are seeing a recovery, particularly in our European segment, which was the most negatively impacted in the third quarter. For the full year, we are on par with last year's record EBITDA results, despite the softer volumes we've experienced this year.''

Shipments of aluminum-rolled products totalled 648 kilotonnes for the third quarter of fiscal 2012, compared with shipments of 715 kilotonnes in the third quarter of the previous year. This decrease in shipments was primarily a result of customer destocking in Europe due to economic uncertainty and continued weakness in the company's
electronics business in Asia.