Norsk Hydro : Norsk Hydro fourth quarter 2012: Improved result on lower input costs

Norsk Hydro : Norsk Hydro fourth quarter 2012: Improved result on lower input
                                    costs

Hydro's underlying earnings before financial items and tax improved to NOK 138
million in the fourth quarter 2012 from an underlying loss of NOK 19 million
in the previous quarter. Lower energy costs in Bauxite & Alumina, lower
variable costs in Primary Metal and improved results for the Qatalum aluminum
plant contributed to underlying results.

  *Underlying EBIT NOK 138 million 

  *Lower raw material costs 

  *Lower realized aluminium prices, higher alumina prices 

  *Higher power prices and production in Energy 

  *2013 aluminium demand growth outlook 2-4 % in world outside China 

  *Proposed 2012 dividend NOK0.75 per share 

"On the back of continuing challenging markets, our focus remains on improving
performance across our value chain. The ambitious USD 300 program is expected
to be completed at the end of 2013, strengthening Hydro's industry position.
Our improvement efforts will continue, including plans to optimize production
and performance in our bauxite and alumina operations in Brazil," Hydro's
President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg said.

Bauxite & Alumina's underlying EBIT improved compared to the third quarter,
due to higher alumina prices and lower energy costs for Alunorte, together
with higher results from commercial operations.

Underlying EBIT for Primary Metal improved compared to the third quarter,
mainly due to better results in Qatalum. Lower realized aluminium prices
negatively affected underlying EBIT, partly offset by lower operating costs.
Savings targeted for Hydro's cost improvement program were achieved for the
year.

Excluding inventory and currency effects, underlying results for Hydro's Metal
Markets operations declined, mainly due to lower volumes and margins together
with lower results from sourcing and trading operations.

Underlying EBIT for Rolled Products declined compared with the third quarter,
impacted by lower margins and seasonally higher maintenance costs.

Underlying EBIT for Energy increased in the quarter due to seasonally higher
production and prices.

Other and eliminations includes a significant negative charge related to
elimination of unrealized gains and losses on internal inventories.

Operating cash flow was NOK 2.8 billion for the quarter. Net cash used for
investment activities amounted to NOK 1.0 billion. Hydro's net cash position
was around NOK 1.7 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.

For the full year 2012, underlying EBIT declined substantially to NOK 1,158
million from NOK 5,982 million in 2011. Lower aluminium prices and alumina
prices had a significant effect on underlying results for the year. Ongoing
efforts to reduce costs and improve operations partly offset the negative
market effects.

On October 15 Hydro announced an agreement with Orkla ASA to combine their
respective extrusion profile, building systems and tubing businesses in a new
joint venture company to be named Sapa. Completion of the transaction is
expected to take place in the first half of 2013, following approval by the
relevant competition authorities. Following the agreement, operating results
for Hydro's Extruded Products are presented net of financial items and tax as
Income (loss) from discontinued operations and excluded from reported EBIT and
underlying EBIT.

Hydro's Board of Directors proposes to pay a dividend of NOK 0.75 per share
for 2012, reflecting the company's strong commitment to provide a cash return
to its shareholders. The dividend reflects our operational performance for
2012 and a strong financial position, also taking into consideration the
uncertain market outlook.

Earnings before financial items and tax amounted to NOK 669 million in the
fourth quarter, including net unrealized derivative gains and positive metal
effects of NOK 555 million and other items amounting to negative NOK 23
million.

In the previous quarter, Hydro incurred a reported loss before financial items
and tax of NOK 267 million, including net unrealized derivative losses and
negative metal effects of NOK 137 million and other items amounting to
negative NOK 112 million. Other items included impairments of non current
assets of NOK 140 million and a gain of NOK 68 million relating to pensions.

Income from continuing operations amounted to NOK 364 million in the fourth
quarter including net foreign exchange loss of NOK 102 million. In the
previous quarter, Hydro incurred a net loss from continuing operations of NOK
64 million, including net foreign exchange gains of NOK 282 million.

Loss from discontinued operations amounted to NOK 251 million in the quarter,
including rationalization and closure costs of NOK 174 million. In the third
quarter, loss from discontinued operations amounted to NOK 167 million,
including rationalization and closure costs of NOK 43 million and a loss on
disposal of Portalex amounting to NOK 144 million.

Key financial
information
                                                       % change
NOK million,         Fourth    Third % change   Fourth    prior
except per share    quarter  quarter    prior  quarter     year   Year    Year
data                   2012     2012  quarter     2011  quarter   2012    2011
Revenue               15585    14722      6 %    17157    (9) %  64181   71500
Earnings before
financial items
and tax (EBIT)          669    (267)   >100 %       46   >100 %    432   10068
Items excluded
from underlying
EBIT                  (532)      249 >(100) %     1176 >(100) %    725  (4086)
Underlying EBIT         138     (19)   >100 %     1223   (89) %   1158    5982
Underlying EBIT :
Bauxite & Alumina      (73)    (386)     81 %      159 >(100) %  (791)     887
Primary Metal            53     (10)   >100 %      484   (89) %    314    2486
Metal Markets            69        7   >100 %     (39)   >100 %    208     441
Rolled Products          71      214   (67) %       86   (17) %    640     673
Energy                  322      220     47 %      441   (27) %   1459    1883
Other and
eliminations          (305)     (64) >(100) %       92 >(100) %  (672)   (389)
Underlying EBIT         138     (19)   >100 %     1223   (89) %   1158    5982
Underlying EBITDA      1216     1114      9 %     2493   (51) %   5687   10497
Underlying income
(loss) from
continuing
operations               58     (37)   >100 %     1035   (94) %    509    3947
Underlying income
(loss) from
discontinued
operations             (59)       17 >(100) %    (159)     63 %    (5)     (1)
Underlying net
income (loss)             0     (20)    100 %      876  (100) %    504    3947
Underlying
earnings per share     0,00     0,00        -     0,42  (100) %   0,26    1,89
Net income (loss)       113    (231)   >100 %    (749)   >100 % (1246)    6749
Earnings per share     0,07   (0,14)   >100 %   (0,36)   >100 % (0,61)    3,41
Financial data:
Investments            1107      806     37 %     3907   (72) %   3382   47510
Adjusted net
interest-bearing
debt                 (8271)  (13678)     40 %  (19895)     58 % (8271) (19895)
Key Operational
information
Alumina production
(kmt)                  1397     1441    (3) %     1490    (6) %   5792    5264
Primary aluminium                       
production (kmt)        485      484   -        539   (10) %   1985    1982
                                                                  
Realized aluminium                                            
price LME (USD/mt)     1940     2022    (4) %     2439   (20) %  2080    2480
                                                                  
Realized aluminium                                               
price LME (NOK/mt)    11069    11856    (7) %   13834   (20) %  12047  13884
Realized NOK/USD
exchange rate          5,71     5,86    (3) %     5,67      1 %   5,79    5,60
Metal products                                                    
sales, total Hydro                                          
(kmt)                 731     794    (8) %     804    (9) %  3254    3303
Rolled Products
sales volumes to
external market
(kmt)                   226      228    (1) %      215      5 %    909     929
Power production
(GWh)                  2448     2157     13 %     2706   (10) %  10307    9582

Investor contact
Contact   Rikard Lindqvist
Cellular  +47 41751199
E-mail   Rikard.Lindqvist@hydro.com

Press contact
Contact   Halvor Molland
Cellular  +47 92979797
E-mail   Halvor.Molland@hydro.com

              *********
Certain statements included within this announcement contain forward-looking
information, including, without limitation, those relating to (a) forecasts,
projections and estimates, (b) statements of management's plans, objectives
and strategies for Hydro, such as planned expansions, investments or other
projects, (c) targeted production volumes and costs, capacities or rates,
start-up costs, cost reductions and profit objectives, (d) various
expectations about future developments in Hydro's markets, particularly
prices, supply and demand and competition, (e) results of operations, (f)
margins, (g) growth rates, (h) risk management, as well as (i) statements
preceded by "expected", "scheduled", "targeted", "planned", "proposed",
"intended" or similar statements.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements are based on a
number of assumptions and forecasts that, by their nature, involve risk and
uncertainty. Various factors could cause our actual results to differ
materially from those projected in a forward-looking statement or affect the
extent to which a particular projection is realized. Factors that could cause
these differences include, but are not limited to: our continued ability to
reposition and restructure our upstream and downstream aluminium business;
changes in availability and cost of energy and raw materials; global supply
and demand for aluminium and aluminium products; world economic growth,
including rates of inflation and industrial production; changes in the
relative value of currencies and the value of commodity contracts; trends in
Hydro's key markets and competition; and legislative, regulatory and political
factors.

No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been
correct. Hydro disclaims any obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section
5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
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Source: Norsk Hydro via Thomson Reuters ONE
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