The improved results reflected higher realised aluminium and alumina prices and stronger sales volumes, partly offset by currency developments.

"We have lifted annual global aluminium demand growth forecast to 4-5 percent for 2016, up from previous forecast 3-4 percent. Higher-than-expected activity in China means that we now see primary aluminium demand in China alone to grow by 5-7 percent in 2016. Globally, we expect a largely balanced aluminium market for the full year, " says President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

"For this quarter, we see that increasing aluminium and alumina prices, along with lower costs and higher volumes are partly offset by currency developments," Brandtzæg says. "I am also pleased to see the continued progress of our ambitious Better improvement programs, and I am happy to see that we are on track to reach total improvements of NOK 2.9 billion in 2019."