Kaiser Aluminum Back in Black During 1st Quarter

Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical on Thursday reported its first quarterly black ink in more than a year, posting net income of $7.2 million for the first three months of 1986. During the first quarter of 1985, the Oakland firm recorded a net loss of $25.5 million.

Revenue was $530.7 million during the latest quarter, compared to $472 million during the same three months last year.

Chairman Cornell C. Maier attributed the turnaround to reduced aluminum production costs and to $32.5 million received when the company agreed to cancel an energy supply contract. Those factors offset a 9% year-to-year decline in fabricated aluminum prices, he said.

Maier has predicted that the company will turn a profit in 1986. Kaiser Aluminum’s last profitable period was the fourth quarter of 1984, but the company hasn’t had a profitable year since 1981.

The company’s aluminum division cut its pretax operating loss to $22.1 million in the first quarter from $69.2 million in the first quarter of 1985. Maier said he still believes that the aluminum division will return to profitability in 1986.