Hydro’s underlying earnings before financial items and tax (Ebit) increased to NOK2,676 million (€281 Mio.) in the third quarter of 2018, up 9.4% on the year-ago quarter, reflecting higher all-in aluminium and alumina prices, positive currency effects and strong contribution from the Energy business area. Continued production curtailment at the Alunorte alumina refinery and increased raw material costs had a negative impact.
Underlying Ebit for Primary Metal declined compared to Q3 2017 due to higher raw material and fixed costs, partly offset by higher all-in metal prices. In addition, there was a positive contribution from the sale of excess power following the production curtailment of the Albras smelter in Brazil.
Underlying Ebit for Rolled Products decreased slightly compared to Q3 2017. Increasing margins and improved performance from Automotive Line 3 were offset by cost increases. Results for the Neuss smelter decreased, the positive effects of the new power contract, the UBC line and all-in metal price development were more than offset by increasing raw material prices.
Underlying Ebit for Extruded Solutions remained stable. The positive effect of higher margins and sales volumes were offset by increased production costs in connection with the ramp-up of new product lines in Europe, in addition to negative effects from a lower Midwest Premium and section 232 tariffs in the US. Additional costs due to the integration and restructuring of the two recently acquired Brazilian extrusion plants also had a negative effect on the quarter.
Underlying Ebit for Energy increased significantly compared to the same quarter in the previous year. The increase was mainly due to significantly higher prices and higher production, partly offset by negative effects from the repricing of an internal power contract with the Neuss smelter.
Hydro's net debt position decreased from NOK7.5 billion to NOK6.5 billion at the end of the quarter.