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Kaiser Narrows Loss but May Not Meet Profit Goal


Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical reported that it narrowed its second-quarter loss but said it may not live up to its earlier prediction of profitability for the year if aluminum prices and shipments of fabricated aluminum products do not improve.

For the three months ended June 30, Kaiser Aluminum had a net loss of $29.6 million, compared to a loss of $32.1 million in the same quarter last year.

During the first quarter, Kaiser reported its first black ink in more than a year, posting net income of $7.2 million.

The Oakland-based aluminum producer recorded second-quarter sales of $554.2 million, up 7% from the $517.7 million in sales during the same period of 1985.

Kaiser Chairman Cornell C. Maier said that higher sales volume and lower production costs in the company's aluminum division during the quarter were partly offset by a drop of about 4% in U.S. fabricated products prices, a provision for a litigation award and a much lower income tax credit.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to review a $9.6-million antitrust decision against Kaiser for monopolizing the market for aluminum drainage pipes.

Maier earlier had predicted that Kaiser Aluminum would be profitable for the year--its first yearly profit since 1981--and that the aluminum division would return to profitability at least for part of the year.

But on Tuesday, Maier said that excluding the gain from the proposed $450-million sale of most of Kaiser's real estate assets, the corporation's profitability for all of 1986 "depends in part upon an increase in fabricated products shipments and the degree of price improvements in the second half."

For the first half of the year, Kaiser Aluminum had a loss of $22.4 million, compared to a $57.6-million loss in the same period of 1985. Sales for the six months rose to $1.1 billion from $989.7 million in the same period last year.

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