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Constellium has sights on US expansion

Mar 20, 2014 | 04:00 PM |

Tags  aluminum, Constellium, earnings report, Airbus, Boeing, North America, Pierre Vareille, body-in-white automotive

NEW YORK — Constellium NV posted a strong 2013 thanks to improved productivity and increased demand for aluminum products in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

The Amsterdam-based company reported net income of €96 million ($132.25 million), down 35.6 percent from 2012, on revenue that fell 3.2 percent to €3.5 billion ($4.82 billion). However, the company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of €280 million ($385.72 million) in 2013 was up 25.6 percent from the previous year.

Full-year shipments were virtually even at 1.03 million tonnes as higher volumes in aerospace and automotive were offset by lower volumes in soft alloys and packaging.

The company plans to step up expansions in the United States and Europe, especially as demand for aluminum in the automotive sector continues to experience unprecedented growth, chief executive officer Pierre Vareille said during the company’s earnings conference call March 20.

Constellium plans to form a joint-venture company to help sup ply and market body-in-white aluminum sheet to the North American automotive market. The $150-million venture, expected to be finalized in the first half of this year, is slated to include a continuous heat treatment and conversion line with an initial target capacity of 100,000 tons supplied by cold-rolled coils from Constellium and its affiliate partners (, Jan. 23).

“We are in intense negotiations with our customers in the U.S.,” Vareille said in response to a question about whether contracts had been signed with U.S. customers. “We have interest from several OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), but we don’t have firm contracts. But we are very confident that we will have firm contracts before the capacity is online.”

Constellium said it gained market share in the aerospace market as a result of new contracts with Toulouse, France-based Airbus SAS and Chicago-based Boeing Co. (, Nov. 21), but noted that the gains had been “partially offset by the limited impact of work stoppages” at two of the company’s plants in France.

The company’s outlook remains positive for 2014 as it looks to expand its global footprint.

“We posted strong year-over-year financial performance improvement across all reporting segments on the back of continued improvement in our operational performance and positive market conditions,” Vareille said in a statement. “In automotive, accelerating trends in both Europe and in North America are fueling our expansion on both continents. Going forward, we believe the long-term outlook for our targeted business segments remains favorable and we expect to continue in our drive to enhance shareholder value.”

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