Rusal posts first-quarter loss as aluminium prices bite

MELBOURNE Mon May 12, 2014 8:48pm EDT

MELBOURNE May 13 (Reuters) - Top global aluminium producer United Company Rusal Plc posted a net loss for the first quarter, missing analyst forecasts, however the Russian company was optimistic the depressed aluminium market was starting to turn around.

Rusal reported a recurring net loss of $169 million for the March quarter, down from a revised recurring net profit of $49 million a year earlier. Five analysts on average had expected a recurring net profit of $24 million.

Recurring net profit is adjusted net profit plus the company's share in Norilsk Nickel results.

"While it is too soon to say the aluminium market has fully turned the corner, we are seeing positive trends, such as robust consumption growth, which is being supplemented by the ongoing optimization of production capacity around the globe," Rusal Chief Executive Oleg Deripaska said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it has its primary listing.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to $173 million from $246 million a year earlier. However earnings rose from $101 million in the December quarter, as premiums on benchmark London Metal Exchange aluminium prices have soared. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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