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Noranda posts loss on lower prices, higher costs

Keywords: Tags  Noranda, earnings report, Layle K.

CHICAGO — Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. plunged into the red in the second quarter as low London Metal Exchange aluminum prices, higher electricity and natural gas tags, and global economic uncertainty hammered results.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based aluminum producer posted a net loss of $12.3 million for the three months ended June 30 vs. net income of $25.3 million in the same period last year as sales slipped 5.3 percent to $352 million. A first-half net loss of $11.7 million was in contrast to net income of $41.5 million a year earlier as sales fell 4.8 percent to $690.4 million.

“Our results were negative affected by a decline in the LME aluminum price, driven by macroeconomic uncertainty around global manufacturing activity and China’s economy,” Noranda president and chief executive officer Layle K. “Kip” Smith said in a statement. “We have taken and continue to take appropriate action to manage our liquidity position.”

Noranda thinks better times might be in store, given the prospects for “modest improvements” in the U.S. economy, Smith said.

The LME cash aluminum contract closed the official session July 24 at $1,807 per tonne, up 1.9 percent from $1,772.50 per tonne a week earlier but down 14.9 percent from a 2013 high of $2,123 per tonne in mid-February.

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