Novelis Inc., Atlanta, has reported results for its fourth quarter and full 2022 fiscal year. The company says it achieved record full-year results and crossed notable financial milestones for earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
"Our market-leading position, strong underlying market demand and history of success adding new capacity position us to embark on our next phase of strategic expansion to support our customers for the long term, and deliver on our purpose of shaping a sustainable world together by reducing carbon emissions across the supply chain," says Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis Inc.
According to the report, net sales increased 34 percent to $4.8 billion for the fourth quarter compared with $3.6 billion in the prior-year period, primarily driven by higher average aluminum prices and local market premiums. The company says total flat-rolled product shipments were a record 987,000 metric tons, a slight increase compared with shipments of 983,000 metric tons in 2021. This increase was driven by strong beverage can and aerospace shipments offsetting lower automotive shipments impacted by semiconductor shortages in the automotive industry.
For the fourth quarter, net income attributable to its common shareholder increased 22 percent compared with the prior year to $215 million. Net income from continuing operations increased 21 percent to $217 million. Excluding special items in both years, net income from continuing operations increased 10 percent compared with the prior year to $189 million.
The company reports adjusted EBIDTA of $431 million in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2022, which included about $55 million of higher operational costs, primarily in North America, arising from production and logistics challenges that are not expected to continue in fiscal 2023. The current-year quarter also included a $15 million nonrecurring regulatory provision. Other higher inflationary cost pressures were offset by favorable product pricing, Novelis says.
For its full fiscal year 2022 results, the company reports net sales increased 40 percent to $17.1 billion compared with $12.3 billion in 2021. This is primarily driven by higher average aluminum prices and record shipments in every product end market, Novelis says. Total flat-rolled product shipments increased 7 percent over the prior year to 3.86 million metric tons driven by strong demand for sustainable, flat-rolled aluminum sheets and recovery from COVID-related production shutdowns early in 2021.
For the full year, fiscal 2022 net income attributable to its common shareholder increased more than four-fold versus the prior year to $954 million, while net income from continuing operations more than doubled to $1 billion. Excluding special items in both years, 2022 net income from continuing operations increased 66 percent to $934 million, driven mainly by higher adjusted EBITDA, the company says.
Adjusted EBITDA increased 19 percent to a record $2 billion in 2022 compared with $1.7 billion in 2021. The company says the increase in adjusted EBITDA is in light of higher volume, favorable product mix despite constrained automotive shipments impacted by the semiconductor chip shortage this year and a strong demand environment benefiting pricing, partially offset by high inflation and operational disruptions. Adjusted EBITDA per ton shipped increased to $530 in 2022, compared with $474 in fiscal 2021.
Adjusted free cash flow from continuing operations was $649 million in 2022 compared with the prior year's free cash flow of $740 million. The company says this is because it absorbed more than $400 million of increased working capital pressure from rising aluminum prices and net metal price lag. The company's net leverage ratio improved to 2.2-times at the end of the fiscal year 2022, compared with 2.9-times at the end of 2021.
"Our record operational and financial performance in fiscal 2022 drove a reduction in net leverage to well within our targeted range and provides a solid footing to begin our next wave of transformational investments," says Devinder Ahuja, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Novelis Inc. "We are well-positioned to navigate current inflationary headwinds and global supply chain challenges while keeping our focus on expanding capacity to support growing long term customer demand across end markets."
Novelis says it ended the fiscal year 2022 with total liquidity of $2.6 billion as of March 31, 2022.
Moving forward, the company says it is considering several potential capital investment opportunities over the next five years, spanning regions and end markets. This includes a recently announced project to construct a $2.5 billion, fully integrated greenfield rolling mill in Bay Minette, Alabama. The factory will support the growing demand for sustainable beverage cans and automotive aluminum sheets.
While in Asia, Novelis says it is expanding recycling and casting in Ulsan, South Korea, and integrating its automotive business in Asia with the addition of a new cold mill and automotive recycling center in China.
For the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023, the company says market demand remains broadly favorable. The company expects adjusted EBITDA per ton to return to levels above $500 despite continuing impacts from semiconductor shortages, COVID-19 lockdowns in China, global supply chain challenges and elevated energy costs.