February 23, 2010

Century Reports 2009 Financial Results

MONTEREY, CA, Feb 23, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX) reported a net loss of $24.4 million ($0.28 per basic and diluted common share) for the fourth quarter of 2009. Financial results were negatively impacted by net after-tax expense of $11.5 million related to the purchase of downside aluminum price protection for a portion of Century's U.S. production through 2010, and a net after-tax charge of $5.3 million for losses on early extinguishment and modification of debt. Financial results were positively impacted by a $6.6 million benefit related to discrete income tax adjustments. Cost of sales for the quarter includes a $17.2 million net after-tax charge for the portion of power costs at Hawesville payable by the previous power supplier per the terms of the power agreements.

For the fourth quarter of 2008, Century reported a net loss, as adjusted, of $693.5 million ($14.14 per basic and diluted common share). Reported results were impacted by a charge for goodwill impairment of $94.8 million, a tax charge of $522.9 million related to the recording of a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets and an inventory write down to market value of $55.9 million.

Recent highlights include:

--  The Grundartangi smelter shipped at an annualized rate of 276,000
    metric tons in the fourth quarter. Shipments for the full year
    increased 2 percent over 2008.
--  Nordural continued to advance the development of the Helguvik smelter
    in preparation for an anticipated restart of major construction
    activity in 2010.
--  Century retired $128 million principal amount of its 1.75% Convertible
    Senior Notes in exchange for 11.4 million shares of its common stock.
--  Century exchanged $247 million principal amount of new 8% Senior
    Secured Notes for $245 million principal amount of existing 7.5% Senior
    Notes and revised certain indenture terms to provide the Company with
    increased operating flexibility.
--  Cash at December 31, 2009 was $198 million.

For 2009, the company reported a net loss of $206.0 million ($2.73 per basic and diluted common share). These results were negatively impacted by several items, including: a net after-tax charge of $41.7 million for costs associated with production curtailments at U.S. smelters; a $73.2 million net after-tax impairment charge associated with the divestiture of our alumina and bauxite investments; a net after-tax charge of $11.0 million related to the purchase of downside aluminum price protection for a portion of our U.S. production through 2010; and a net after-tax charge of $4.7 million for losses on early extinguishment and modification of debt. Results for the year were positively impacted by a net after-tax benefit of $57.8 million, primarily from realized and unrealized gains related to the termination of the existing power contract and its replacement with a new power contract at Hawesville and a $14.3 million benefit related to discrete income tax adjustments. Net after-tax inventory lower of cost or market adjustments of $33.6 million favorably impacted the yearly results. Cost of sales for the year includes a $31.6 million net after-tax charge for the portion of power costs at Hawesville payable by the previous power supplier per the terms of the power agreements.

For 2008, Century reported a net loss, as adjusted, of $895.2 million ($20.00 per basic and diluted common share). Included in these results is a net after tax charge of $742.1 million for mark-to-market adjustments on forward contracts that do not qualify for cash flow hedge accounting. Full year results were also impacted by a charge for goodwill impairment of $94.8 million, a tax charge of $522.9 million related to the recording of a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets and an inventory write down to market value of $55.9 million.

Sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $256.8 million compared with $402.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Shipments of primary aluminum for the 2009 fourth quarter were 147,700 tonnes, compared with 202,260 tonnes shipped in the year-ago quarter. Sales for 2009 were $899 million compared with $1,971 million for 2008, and total 2009 primary aluminum shipments of 605,126 tonnes compared with 803,771 tonnes shipped in 2008.

"Century's operating environment generally improved during the latter part of 2009, in concert with global economic conditions," remarked Logan W. Kruger, president and chief executive officer. "Demand for aluminum and other industrial metals has remained stable in the developed economies; in addition, economic indicators in these regions have generally shown improvement. China's impressive growth has continued despite recent signals that its government will act to contain potential economic excesses; economies in India and certain other developing regions have also performed strongly. Despite these encouraging signs, aluminum inventory levels remain elevated and higher cost capacity in the western world has continued to operate. In this environment of ongoing uncertainty and volatility, we remain committed to protecting the company's financial strength and flexibility while investing significant effort and resources toward preserving and enhancing our attractive growth opportunities.

"During the last months of the year we took additional steps to further bolster Century's financial strength. We completed two exchange offers and consent solicitations for our public debt securities; these transactions decreased our leverage, lessened our near-term maturities and improved the company's overall operating flexibility. The restructuring and cost reduction actions we took in 2009 have produced a cost structure which provides for attractive conversion of higher aluminum prices into increased profitability and cash flow. These results are the direct outcome of the dedication and skill of the leadership teams and employees at all of our facilities.

"We continue to expend significant effort on the development of our new smelter at Helguvik," concluded Mr. Kruger. "We remain convinced this project is unique in the world in terms of strategic location, overall operating environment and cost structure; we are confident it will provide our shareholders with attractive returns for decades. We have made encouraging progress on our financing program for the project. In addition, we are focusing on the major elements required for a full restart of construction activities; the most significant of these items remains finalizing the power arrangements, including confirmation of the financing plans of the power suppliers. Assuming a satisfactory conclusion of these discussions in the near term, we believe we can achieve a restart of major construction around the middle of the year."

Century Aluminum Company owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland. Century's corporate offices are located in Monterey, California.

Century Aluminum's quarterly conference call is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Eastern time today. To listen to the conference call and to view related presentation materials, go to www.centuryaluminum.com and click on the conference call link on the homepage.

Cautionary Statement

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws. The company has based its forward-looking statements on current expectations and projections about the future; however, these statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in its forward-looking statements. More information about these risks, uncertainties and assumptions can be found in the risk factors and forward-looking statements cautionary language contained in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date such forward-looking statements are made.

Certified Advisors for the First North market of the OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland hf. for Global Depositary Receipts in Iceland:

Atli B. Gudmundsson, Senior Manager -- Corporate Finance, NBI hf.

Steingrimur Helgason, Director -- Corporate Finance, NBI hf.

                         Century Aluminum Company
                  Consolidated Statements of Operations
                 (in Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
                                (Unaudited)
                           Three months ended            Year ended
                              December 31,              December 31,
                            2009         2008         2009         2008
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
                                     As Adjusted               As Adjusted
NET SALES:
  Third-party customers $   187,906  $   271,119  $   668,344  $ 1,474,815
  Related parties            68,908      131,079      230,909      495,961
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
                            256,814      402,198      899,253    1,970,776
COST OF GOODS SOLD          242,539      464,776      964,918    1,659,152
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
GROSS PROFIT (LOSS)          14,275      (62,578)     (65,665)     311,624
GOODWILL IMPAIRMENT               -       94,844            -       94,844
OTHER OPERATING EXPENSE
 (INCOME) - Net               6,013            -      (16,088)           -
SELLING, GENERAL AND
 ADMINISTRATIVE
 EXPENSES                    15,093        4,253       47,879       48,223
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)      (6,831)    (161,675)     (97,456)     168,557
INTEREST EXPENSE - Net       (6,305)      (6,851)     (29,093)     (24,349)
INTEREST (EXPENSE)
 INCOME, RELATED
 PARTIES - Net                  141          171          572         (827)
NET LOSS ON FORWARD
 CONTRACTS                  (11,631)     (13,253)     (19,415)    (744,448)
OTHER EXPENSE - Net          (4,852)        (581)      (4,751)      (2,178)
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
LOSS BEFORE INCOME
 TAXES AND EQUITY
 IN EARNINGS OF JOINT
 VENTURES                   (29,478)    (182,189)    (150,143)    (603,245)
INCOME TAX (EXPENSE)
 BENEFIT                      4,257     (515,797)      12,357     (308,848)
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
LOSS BEFORE EQUITY IN
 EARNINGS OF JOINT
 VENTURES                   (25,221)    (697,986)    (137,786)    (912,093)
EQUITY IN EARNINGS
 (LOSSES) OF JOINT
 VENTURES                       867        4,440      (68,196)      16,906
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
NET LOSS                $   (24,354) $  (693,546) $  (205,982) $  (895,187)
                        ===========  ===========  ===========  ===========
LOSS PER COMMON SHARE
  Basic and Diluted     $     (0.28) $    (14.14) $     (2.73) $    (20.00)
WEIGHTED AVERAGE COMMON
 SHARES OUTSTANDING
  Basic and Diluted          88,160       49,051       75,343       44,759
                         Century Aluminum Company
                        Consolidated Balance Sheets
                          (Dollars in Thousands)
                                (Unaudited)
                                                  December 31, December 31,
                                                      2009        2008
                                                  -----------  -----------
ASSETS                                                         As Adjusted
Current Assets:
  Cash                                            $   198,234  $   129,400
  Restricted cash                                       8,879          865
  Short-term investments                                    -       13,686
  Accounts receivable - net                            37,706       60,859
  Due from affiliates                                  19,255       39,062
  Inventories                                         131,473      138,111
  Prepaid and other current assets                     93,921       99,861
  Deferred taxes - current portion                          -       32,290
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total current assets                             489,468      514,134
Property, plant and equipment - net                 1,298,288    1,340,037
Intangible asset - net                                      -       32,527
Due from affiliates - less current portion              5,859        7,599
Other assets                                           68,135      141,061
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total                                        $ 1,861,750  $ 2,035,358
                                                  ===========  ===========
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current Liabilities:
  Accounts payable, trade                         $    77,301  $   102,143
  Due to affiliates                                    32,708       70,957
  Accrued and other current liabilities                38,598       58,777
  Accrued employee benefits costs - current
   portion                                             12,997       12,070
  Convertible senior notes                             43,239      152,700
  Industrial revenue bonds                              7,815        7,815
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total current liabilities                        212,658      404,462
                                                  -----------  -----------
Senior notes payable                                  247,624      250,000
Revolving credit facility                                   -       25,000
Accrued pension benefit costs - less current
 portion                                               43,281       50,008
Accrued postretirement benefits costs - less
 current portion                                      177,231      219,539
Other liabilities                                      31,604       33,464
Deferred taxes                                         81,622       71,805
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total noncurrent liabilities                     581,362      649,816
                                                  -----------  -----------
Shareholders' Equity:
  Preferred stock (one cent par value,
   5,000,000 shares authorized; 83,452
   shares outstanding at December 31, 2009
   and 155,787 at December 31, 2008)                        1            2
  Common stock (one cent par value,
   195,000,000 shares authorized
   and 92,530,068 shares outstanding at
   December 31, 2009; 100,000,000 shares
   authorized and 49,052,692 shares
   outstanding at December 31, 2008)                      925          491
  Additional paid-in capital                        2,501,389    2,272,128
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss                (74,270)    (137,208)
  Accumulated deficit                              (1,360,315)  (1,154,333)
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total shareholders' equity                     1,067,730      981,080
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Total                                        $ 1,861,750  $ 2,035,358
                                                  ===========  ===========
                         Century Aluminum Company
                  Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                          (Dollars in Thousands)
                                (Unaudited)
                                                         Year ended
                                                        December 31,
                                                      2009         2008
                                                  -----------  -----------
                                                               As Adjusted
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:
   Net loss                                       $  (205,982) $  (895,187)
   Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash
    provided by (used in) operating activities:
     Unrealized net loss on forward contracts          11,956      602,389
     Unrealized gain on contractual receivable        (81,557)           -
     Realized benefit of contractual receivable        26,025            -
     Goodwill impairment                                    -       94,844
     Write-off of intangible asset                     23,759            -
     Accrued and other plant curtailment costs - net    9,940            -
     Lower of cost or market adjustment               (47,152)      55,865
     Depreciation and amortization                     72,624       84,268
     Deferred income taxes                             44,952      319,063
     Pension and other postretirement benefits         12,952       16,430
     Stock-based compensation                           3,338       11,753
     Non-cash loss on early extinguishment and
      modification of debt                              2,325            -
     Equity investment impairment                      73,234            -
     Undistributed earnings of joint ventures          (5,038)     (16,906)
     Change in operating assets and liabilities:
          Accounts receivable - net                    23,154       32,592
          Purchase of short-term trading
           securities                                       -     (106,532)
          Sale of short-term trading securities        13,686      373,015
          Due from affiliates                          21,625      (12,369)
          Inventories                                  35,766      (18,839)
          Prepaid and other current assets             44,847       11,502
          Accounts payable, trade                     (17,596)      (1,515)
          Due to affiliates                           (11,961)  (1,153,348)
          Accrued and other current liabilities       (15,448)     (69,728)
          Other - net                                   3,950        7,265
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Net cash provided by (used in) operating
      activities                                       39,399     (665,438)
                                                  -----------  -----------
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:
   Purchase of property, plant and equipment          (16,935)     (44,205)
   Nordural expansion                                 (21,981)     (80,314)
   Investments in and advances to joint ventures       (1,044)     (36,974)
   Payment received on advances from joint
    ventures                                            1,761        1,754
   Restricted and other cash deposits                  (8,014)           8
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Net cash used in investing activities            (46,213)    (159,731)
                                                  -----------  -----------
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:
   Repayment of long-term debt - related party              -     (505,198)
   Borrowing under revolving credit facility                -       35,000
   Repayment under revolving credit facility          (25,000)     (10,000)
   Financing fees                                      (2,429)           -
   Excess tax benefits from share-based
    compensation                                            -          657
   Issuance of preferred stock                              -      929,480
   Issuance of common stock - net                     103,077      443,668
                                                  -----------  -----------
     Net cash provided by financing activities         75,648      893,607
                                                  -----------  -----------
CHANGE IN CASH                                         68,834       68,438
CASH, BEGINNING OF PERIOD                             129,400       60,962
                                                  -----------  -----------
CASH, END OF PERIOD                               $   198,234  $   129,400
                                                  ===========  ===========
                         Century Aluminum Company
                          Selected Operating Data
                               (Unaudited)
                       SHIPMENTS - PRIMARY ALUMINUM
                          Direct (1)                      Toll
                ----------------------------- -----------------------------
                 Metric    (000)               Metric    (000)      (000)
                  Tons     Pounds   $/Pound     Tons     Pounds    Revenue
                --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
2009
----
4th Quarter        78,095   172,168 $    0.92    69,605   153,450 $  98,331
3rd Quarter        77,023   169,807 $    0.82    69,222   152,609 $  88,780
2nd Quarter        76,817   169,353 $    0.69    68,876   151,846 $  72,136
1st Quarter        97,392   214,712 $    0.72    68,096   150,126 $  71,048
                --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Total             329,327   726,040 $    0.78   275,799   608,031 $ 330,295
2008
----
4th Quarter       132,477   292,061 $    1.00    69,783   153,844 $ 111,159
3rd Quarter       135,200   298,065 $    1.36    68,418   150,835 $ 148,227
2nd Quarter       131,639   290,214 $    1.37    66,533   146,681 $ 147,128
1st Quarter       133,004   293,223 $    1.17    66,717   147,086 $ 127,177
                --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Total             532,320 1,173,563 $    1.23   271,451   598,446 $ 533,691
(1) Does not include Toll shipments from Nordural Grundartangi

Contacts:

Mike Dildine (media)
831-642-9364

Shelly Lair (investors)
831-642-9357


SOURCE: Century Aluminum Company


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