The company has reported underlying Q4 2012 earnings before financial items and tax (EBIT) of NOK138 million compared with a NOK19 million loss for the third quarter of the year.

Taken over the entire year, earnings were NOK1.1 billion compared with NOK5.9 billion for 2011.

Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, Norsk Hydro's CEO, said that the company's focus remains on improving performance across its value chain, adding that Hydro plans to 'optimise production and performance' in its bauxite and alumina operations in Brazil.

Earnings were up for primary metals with Hydro posting NOK53 million compared to a NOK10 million loss for Q3, although taken throughout the year, the 2012 figure was NOK314 million compared with just under NOK2.5 billion for 2011.

Rolled products were down 67% from NOK214 million in Q3 to NOK71 million for Q4.

Q4 bauxite and alumina earnings improved considerably from a Q3 loss of NOK386 million to NOK73 million.

Hydro's primary aluminium production remained roughly static between Q3 (484kt) and Q4 (485kt) and was roughly the same for 2012 as a whole (1.985Mt compared with 1.982Mt in 2011).