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Monterey, CA, April 26, 2004 - Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX) reported net income of $4.8 million, or $0.20 a share, fully diluted, for the first quarter of 2004. Operating income increased by $28.1 million to $31.6 million for the 2004 first quarter from the comparable quarter in 2003.
The 2004 quarter includes net after-tax charges of $6.7 million, or $0.31 a share, comprised of: an after-tax charge of $8.2 million, or $0.38 a share, for losses on marking to market the 110-million-pound-per-year fixed-price metal delivery contract that remains in place for 2004 and other physical delivery contracts and financial instruments that do not qualify for cash-flow hedge accounting; and an after-tax credit of $1.5 million, or $0.07 a share, for the reduction of lower of cost or market inventory reserves.
In the first quarter 2003 the company reported net income of $17.6 million, or $0.78 a share, fully diluted. Results for the year-ago quarter included an after-tax gain of $26.9 million, or $1.20 a share, related to the termination of the last five years (2005 to 2009) of the 110 million-pound-a-year metal delivery contract and marking to market years 2003 and 2004 of the contract. The results also included a net after-tax charge of $5.9 million, $0.26 a share, for the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle.
Sales in the 2004 first quarter were $232.1 million compared with $179.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Shipments of primary aluminum in the first quarter of 2004 were 296.7 million pounds versus 257.0 million pounds in the first quarter of 2003.
Financial results for the first quarter of 2003 exclude the results from the acquisition of the 20-percent interest in Century's Hawesville (KY) Operations on April 1, 2003.
Commenting on the company's performance, Century Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig A. Davis said:
"Operating income and cash flow in the first quarter were very strong due to higher aluminum prices and improved operating performance. Our plants met their cost goals while operating at near capacity levels. Market conditions have improved further in 2004 which we expect will continue the positive trend established in the first quarter. We expect to complete the acquisition of the Nordural plant in Iceland by April 30, 2004. We also plan to begin an expansion that will double its capacity to 180,000 mtpy by mid-2006."
Century owns 525,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) of primary aluminum capacity. It owns and operates the 244,000-mtpy plant at Hawesville, KY and
the 170,000-mtpy plant at Ravenswood, WV. Century also owns a 49.67-percent interest in the 222,000-mtpy reduction plant at Mt. Holly, SC. Alcoa Inc. owns the remainder and is the operating partner. Century's headquarters are in Monterey, CA.
Century's press releases may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company cautions that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may vary.
A. T. Posti (831) 642-9364
Director of Corporate Communications