Pechiney recently announced a net loss of 50 million euros in 2002, corresponding to adjusted net income (restated to reflect the impact, after taxes, of restructuring expense, other (expense) income and other non-recurring items) of 211 million euros, or 2.69 euros per share, down 28% from the previous year. At 407 million euros, earnings from operations declined 26% and were slightly higher than the estimate of 400 million euros made last October. The net dividend proposed per common share "A" is unchanged at 1.00 euro. The Group experienced good operating performance in a particularly difficult economic environment. The decline in the price of aluminum, of geographical premiums and in the parity of the U.S. dollar explain the decrease in the Group's earnings from operations. Thanks to its operating performance, the Group therefore succeeded in 2002 in offsetting the sharp drop in sales volume in aerospace and packaging, as well as the absence of a recovery in the U.S. As of December 31, 2002, cumulated Continuous Improvement Gains were estimated at 130 million euros, in line with the objective set at the end of 2001.
Pechiney's divisions will continue to adapt in 2003. The divisions initiated several restructuring procedures in January, which may lead to a decision, in 2003, to close several production facilities. Should such decisions be made, they could translate, during this fiscal year, into estimated restructuring charges that could range from 50 million to 70 million euros.
The Group's website is located at http://www.pechiney.com .