Auto sales to drive aluminum demand – Novelis

NEW YORK, Thu May 3, 2012 – Novelis Inc.the world’s largest maker of aluminum sheet, said strong U.S. automotive sales this year would help drive U.S. demand for products using aluminum at a pace consistent with an expected 2 percent growth in U.S. gross domestic product.

“We look at the U.S. economy, all things considered, as stable and running at about a 2 percent GDP, maybe 2.5 percent. Nothing exciting, but still growing,” CEO Phil Martens told Reuters in a recent interview.

He projected global aluminum demand growth of 4 percent to 5 percent in each of the next five years, which would exceed U.S. demand growth.

In the United States, the aluminum chief was particularly upbeat about the automotive sector’s use of aluminum. He forecast that demand will grow dramatically over the next three to five years as the industry shifts to lighter materials to boost fuel efficiency and to reduce emissions.

“We’ve moved from let’s watch this, to let’s study it, we’re not sure what the scale will be but its going to exceed our expectations. Now we’re trying to figure out how to best support it long term,” he said of the movement toward more aluminum use by automakers.

Martens also assessed consumer buying patterns in the company’s two other main markets, saying beverage cans have been relatively stable for six months and consumer electronics demand continues to grow.

But he noted that U.S. consumers can be skittish.

“We still think the consumer in general has the ability to be scared. You have to be very cautious, because last year in the first half we were cruising along and then this debt ceiling debate came along and threw everyone for a loop,” the CEO said.

Novelis reports record fiscal year results; aluminum producer posed for transformation

ATLANTA ― Novelis Inc., a leading producer of aluminum rolled products, today reported record net income attributable to its common shareholder of $116 million and $50 million for the full year and fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, respectively.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year was a record $1,072 million, representing a 42 percent increase from adjusted EBITDA of $755 million posted for the same period a year ago.  This significant increase was driven by higher shipments, price increases and product portfolio and footprint optimization.  For the fourth quarter, adjusted EBITDA was $280 million, a 21 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year and a record fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA.

“Our record fiscal 2011 results reflect a number of ongoing initiatives to strengthen the business and prepare it for transformational growth,” said Phil Martens, Novelis president and chief executive officer. Martens pointed to a number of specific achievements, including the following:

  • Global realignment of the organization that has allowed Novelis to move toward its “One Novelis” goal of operating as a fully integrated global company.
  • Optimizing the company’s footprint and reducing its cost base by closing underperforming and non-core plants and by investing in recycling initiatives.
  • Focusing on premium products, which now comprise over 70 percent of Novelis’ product portfolio.
  • Investing in strategic initiatives like the expansion of the company’s Pinda mill in Brazil and global debottlenecking projects designed to increase capacity.
  • Refinancing and recapitalizing the business, which positions the company to significantly invest over the next few years to capture strong market growth in its key product segments globally.
  • Operating the company’s assets at or near capacity for the entire year