IMPROVED market conditions and boosted production have helped Alcoa to record a US$94 million net profit for the March 2012 quarter, after reporting a loss the previous quarter.
At the end of December 2011, Alcoa posted a $191 million loss for that three month period. In its March 2012 report, Alcoa said the company had negotiated its way back to positive cashflow via
productivity improvements across all of its businesses, higher realised prices for aluminium and improved volume and mix.
“Performance rebounded strongly this quarter due to our proactive cash sustainability actions, our relentless focus on profitable growth and stabilising markets,” Alcoa chairman and chief executive officer Klaus Kleinfeld said.
“Challenges remain in this economy, but we approach them better prepared than ever before.” Alcoa’s overall first quarter revenue rose slightly to US$6 billion, despite a 9 per cent drop in the
realised aluminium price. “Alcoa continues to project a global aluminium supply deficit in 2012 and reaffirmed its forecast that global aluminium demand would grow seven per cent in 2012, on top of the 10 per cent growth seen in 2011,” the company stated in its March report. A cut in capital expenditure helped drive Alcoa to positive cashflow, with spending down to $270 million in the
March quarter compared to $486 million in the December quarter of 2011. Alcoa produced 951,000t of aluminium in the March period, down from 962,000t in the December period.
The company received an average realised price of US$2433 per tonne of aluminium, up from $2374/t.


By Lorna Seatter