"Special items in Q1 2013 included a net discrete income tax benefit, the positive impact of mark-to-market changes on certain energy contracts, and a net insurance recovery related to the March 2012 fire at our Massena, NY location, all of which were slightly offset by the negative impact of restructuring," said Alcoa in a press announcement.

Q1 2013 revenue ($5.8 billion) decreased by 1% over Q4 2012 figures due to fewer production days in Q1. They were 3% lower than Q1 2012, based mainly on depressed LME prices and the impact of curtailments in Alcoa's European primary metals production.

Alcoa's chairman and CEO, Klaus Kleinfield, praises his the 'record profitability' of his company's downstream businesses, claiming that the strong Q1 performance was also down to improved results from Alcoa's midstream business and a remarkable upstream performance in the face of weak metal prices.

"Our mid and downstream businesses now account for 72% of our total after-tax operating income while our upstream business continues to move down the cost curve," said Kleinfeld.

He added that Alcoa achieved its results by focusing on the things 'we can control' and by 'pressing Alcoa's innovation edge, scale and strength in end-markets'.