We are focused on managing what is under our control.
Despite significantly higher energy prices which offset more favorable metal prices, we achieved solid cost savings results from the restructuring undertaken over the last two years....
The fourth quarter has proven to be extremely challenging as a result of lower volumes, depressed metal prices, and overall weak downstream markets.
A reduced upstream pricing environment and higher energy costs affected out results this quarter.
Looking to the fourth quarter, we expect to continue to benefit from recent acquisitions, our cost reduction program, and the seasonal strength of our packaging and consumer business, ... However, we also expect the softness to continue in the construction, transportation, building and distribution markets and see no relief from the higher energy prices.
Global manufacturing weakness has persisted longer than we anticipated, ... In particular, aerospace, industrial gas turbine and telecommunication markets remained soft, reinforcing the need to increase the scope of our cost savings and restructuring initiatives.
We are not satisfied with these results, ... We are confident that the restructuring of our primary and fabricating businesses, coupled with our continued focus on implementing the Alcoa business system and our commitment to grow the company, will enable us to resume sustainable savings and profitable growth in 2002 and beyond.
The combination of operating efficiencies and higher prices resulted in the strongest quarter Alcoa has ever had.
Despite increasing softness in the construction, transportation, building, and distribution markets, as well as significantly higher energy prices, Alcoa achieved record performance as a result of rapid integration of new acquisitions and execution of its cost-cutting initiative.
With the competitive and efficient energy source, the access to skilled labor, and efficient proximity to alumina supplies and customers, the Trinidad smelter will be ideally placed to compete for its share of the world market in primary aluminum. It also creates a solid foundation for the development of an integrated aluminum industry to further diversify and strengthen the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. In terms of technology, design, and environmental performance, this will be a world-class facility.
While we are still fighting inflationary pressures, cost increases have slowed from last year, and our restructuring and efficiency initiatives have helped strengthen profitability.
I will not mortgage the future of the company.