|The Asian Age
3 September 2010
The turnaround of the aluminum major Novelis has finally justified the acquisition of the Canadian company by Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla.
Addressing the 51st annual general meeting of Hindalco, the company’s chairman, Mr Birla, said, “In an economy that was still emerging from recession, Novelis reported record results in terms of record adjusted operating profits, liquidity and free cash flow. This was despite only a two per cent decrease in shipments on year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis, driven by soft market conditions in the first half of the year."
Novelis' sales were also marginally impaired due to a shrinkage in the average London Metals Exchange prices, he said.
The operating profit adjusted at $754 million was higher by 55 per cent Y-o-Y. This was achieved on the back of cost-cuts and restructuring implemented throughout the year. The company also negotiated price increases in specific contracts across all regions.
The company's liquidity surpassed $1 billion on the back of a strong operational cash flow, the bond issuance and increased gross borrowing. Free cash flow went from a negative $352 million in FY09 to a positive $355 million in FY10. This was a direct result of a stronger performance, good working capital management and controlled capex levels.
Building on a solid foundation, Mr Birla said Novelis today is a leaner and more nimble entity. He said, “It is perhaps the only pure play focused, aluminum rolled products global company and is on track to achieve its target of $1 billion adjusted operating profits.”