Financial results were impacted by a loss on forward contracts of $5M related to the mark to market of aluminum price protection options.

Cost of sales for the quarter included a $6.4M charge for the restart of a curtailed potline at the Hawesville, Kentucky smelter.

CEO Michael Bless said: "While the pace of end demand growth in key developing markets has slowed, absolute conditions remain reasonable.

"Given the risk of shock from the Eurozone, coupled with tight financing markets, customers remain wary of making long-term commitments. The aluminum price has been trading at a level that, in our opinion, is not sustainable.”

He said the price of electric power in developed and developing markets renders a significant amount of existing capacity marginally economic or worse. Addressing this issue, over the short- and longer-term, will determine the longevity of a meaningful portion of our industry's existing capacity.

He added the process supporting the potential restart of Ravenswood was on track. Its Grundartangi plant had an excellent quarter; the team was able to make up for the modest production lost during the serious power outage in January.

He said discussions will continue in the next few months regarding its Helguvik, Iceland site, which will determine the timing of its restart.

Sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $326.2M, compared with $326.3M for Q1 2011. Shipments of primary aluminum for Q1 2012 were 159,967t, compared with 144,178t shipped in the year-ago quarter.