NEW YORK Horsehead
Holding Corp. reported its fourth consecutive net loss Feb. 20,
which it attributed to low zinc prices, asset write-off charges
connected with the pending closure of its Monaca, Pa., zinc
facility, and hedge-protection costs related to its
soon-to-open zinc plant in Rutherford County, N.C.
producers $11.2-million net loss in the quarter narrowed
from a net loss of $12.7 million in the same 2011 period.
Meanwhile, sales for the period rose 6.1 percent to $106.4
Horseheads full-year net
loss of $30.4 million stood in contrast to net income of $21.5
million in 2011 on sales that fell 3.4 percent to $435.7
million from $451.2 million.
London Metal Exchange zinc
prices averaged 88 cents per pound in the fourth quarter, up
from 86 cents per pound in the same 2011 period.
"I am not satisfied with the
bottom-line financial results," Jim Hensler, president and
chief executive officer, told analysts during an earnings
Still, Hensler pointed to some
year-on-year improvement, including a 23-percent increase in
zinc dust recycling despite lower steel output, a 5-percent
uptick in smelter production and a 10-percent rise in zinc
Horsehead is in the final stages
of constructing its new zinc plant in Rutherford County, which
will coincide with the closure of its Monaca facility.
Horsehead expects to begin producing zinc at Rutherford later
this year, and is now hiring workers for the facility.
The company has also begun Phase II of its expansion at its
Brampton, Ontario, plant, which involves adding a seventh