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Kaiser plans extrusion growth on auto strength

Jul 24, 2014 | 06:23 PM |

Tags  Kaiser Aluminum, Jack Hockema, automotive extrusions, expansion, aluminum extrusions, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Kaiser Aluminum Corp. is actively expanding its automotive extrusion capabilities in an effort to meet spiking demand from the sector, the company’s top executive said as the company’s earnings climbed in the second quarter.

"We are adding capacity now," chairman, president and chief executive officer Jack A. Hockema said during a July 24 earnings call.

"In terms of short-term executions, we have modified a press in our Texas plant, our Richmond, Va., plant is ramping up other presses on other programs and our London plant is running close to capacity. We are also in the process of moving (anti-lock braking systems) production to our Kalamazoo (Mich.) plant. Overall, we see a lot of investment in automotive extrusions presses and are evaluating what the long-term footprint should look like," he added.

And while rapid expansion seems to be on the horizon, Hockema explained that Kaiser’s growth would likely be organically driven.

"We are very bullish in terms of our organic growth opportunities," he said during the call. "We have a very strong platform and have a strong company without having to make acquisitions. ... That said, we continue to look, and if the right one comes along at the right price, we’ll pull the trigger."

Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based Kaiser’s net income climbed 31.7 percent year on year in the second quarter to $24.5 million as improved secular demand for aerospace, automotive and extrusion applications helped offset lower prices for heat-treat plate products (, July 23).

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