(Refiles to fix day of week in second paragraph)
VIENNA, March 1 Amag Austria Metall's
core profit fell 11 percent to 134 million euros ($175 million)
in 2012, beating guidance the aluminium group gave in November.
Amag also said late on Thursday it expected flat earnings
for 2013 and a positive business trend for the first quarter
thanks to a high order backlog.
Amag had said in November it expected 2012 earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to fall to
128-133 million euros from nearly 150 million in 2011.
Sales were flat at 814 million euros in 2012. The company
said it would keep its dividend steady at 0.6 euro.
Amag said high demand had led to full capacity utilisation
in 2012 and its Rolling division's shipments topped 150,000
tonnes for the first time, allowing the unit to contribute 61
percent to group sales.
It declined to give a specific financial forecast for 2013.
"Macroeconomic uncertainties, such as volatility concerning
raw materials and foreign currencies as well as possible effects
of the sovereign debt crisis, make it difficult to give a
precise forecast for 2013 at this time," it said .
UC Rusal, the world's largest aluminium producer
which is set to report earnings on Monday, could see a sharp
fall in 2012 earnings because of uncertain supply and demand
dynamics and cost inflation, according to a Reuters poll.
Amag, in November, had forecast a challenging 2013 given
jittery markets after low aluminium prices helped push its
third-quarter core profit down 11 percent.
($1 = 0.7649 euro)