Pechiney's earnings from operations in the third quarter of 2003 were €58 million, down €37 million from the third quarter of 2002, and a net loss of €76 million. The published net loss includes exceptional writedowns during the third quarter for an amount before income tax of €84 million (of which €19 million of exceptional goodwill amortization), with no cash impact, as well as exceptional expenses linked to the Alcan takeover bid, for an amount of €33 million. Excluding these items, net income would have amounted to a positive €6 million. The company's Primary Aluminum sector reported earnings from operations of €33 million, down from €70 million in the third quarter of 2002, which was affected by the weakness of the U.S. dollar vs. the euro and, to a lesser extent, by the rise in energy costs. Aluminum Conversion reported earnings from operations of €10 million in the third quarter of 2003 vs. earnings from operations close to zero in the third quarter of 2002. The recovery observed at the beginning of 2003 was confirmed, mainly as a result of the good level of sales volume in aerospace in Europe, together with an improved operating performance and satisfactory cost control.
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