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KAISER ALUMINUM MADE SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 1991 AND IS PREPARED FOR ANOTHER TOUGH YEAR IN 1992, HUTCHCRAFT TELLS SHAREHOLDERS

 KAISER ALUMINUM MADE SUBSTANTIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 1991 AND IS PREPARED FOR ANOTHER TOUGH YEAR IN 1992, HUTCHCRAFT TELLS SHAREHOLDERS
 HOUSTON, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- "For Kaiser Aluminum, the year 1991 and the first quarter of 1992 were periods of substantial accomplishment" in spite of a weak economy and low aluminum prices, A. Stephens Hutchcraft, president of Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NYSE: KLU), told shareholders at the company's annual meeting held in Houston today. "We are prepared for another tough year in the aluminum business" in 1992, he said.
 The company earned $108.4 million on sales of $2.0 billion for the year 1991, down from 1990 net income of $213.7 million on sales of $2.1 billion. During the first quarter of 1992, Kaiser reported net income of $8.4 million on sales of $463.7 million, down from $36.2 million on sales of $512.6 million in the year-earlier period.
 Hutchcraft attributed the company's 1991 earnings to:
 -- its forward sales and hedging programs which enabled the
 company to receive favorable prices for its products,
 -- performance and production records set at most of the company's
 key facilities,
 -- efforts to foster continuous improvement in the workplace, and
 -- stringent control of operating costs.
 Explaining the difficult market environment of 1991, Hutchcraft said, "Against the backdrop of a recession that affected not only the U.S. but also Japan and Europe, worldwide inventories of primary aluminum increased by about 900,000 metric tons" due mainly to exports from the former Soviet Union. This excess inventory caused the price of aluminum to plunge below $.50 a pound.
 Looking to the aluminum industry's prospects for 1992, Hutchcraft said that Russia will again play a pivotal role. "If Russia ships 800,000 tons again, the West will build inventory and the price will stay low. If Russia ships under 500,000 tons, inventory will start to drift down and prices will slowly firm."
 For Kaiser Aluminum specifically, he said, "Our forward sales and hedging programs will help our results again in 1992. While they won't generate the income stream they did last year, they still will provide a significant contribution." He added that the company expects to make further progress in reducing its debt and the interest expenses related to that debt.
 Hutchcraft also reported that the company made significant progress toward its goal of an injury-free workplace by the year 2000.
 In other business at the annual meeting, shareholders re-elected John B. Connally, Charles E. Hurwitz, A. Stephens Hutchcraft, Jr., Ezra G. Levin, Robert Marcus, Paul D. Rusen, and John M. Seidl as directors.
 Kaiser Aluminum Corp. is 87 percent owned by MAXXAM Inc. (ASE:MXM).
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth M. Simon of Kaiser Aluminum, 510-271-3313/
 (KLU MXM) CO: Kaiser Aluminum Corp.; MAXXAM Inc. ST: California IN: MNG SU: ERN


JL -- SF002 -- 9594 05/13/92 10:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 13, 1992
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