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Alcoa says year to date productivity gains ahead of schedule

On Alcoa's Q1 earnings conference call, management noted that the company's year to date productivity was ahead of schedule. Alcoa achieved $250M of productivity actions during the quarter against its target of $850M for the year. The company had its lowest debt since the third quarter of 2007, and its debt to capital was down to its target range. Management still anticipates generating positive free cash flow for the year. They reaffirmed expectations that aluminum demand will grow globally at 7% this year, or 4% excluding China, and said that supply and demand for both the alumina and aluminum markets are essentially balanced. Additional after-tax restructuring charges of $100M-$125M during FY14 are anticipated from the closing of Australian plants. Approximately 85% of these charges are expected to be non-cash.