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Kaiser Aluminum Cuts '86 Loss to $32.7 Million

January 20, 1987|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS

Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical, failing to achieve the profitability it predicted early last year, said Monday that it reduced its loss in 1986 to $32.7 million. In 1985, the Oakland-based company lost $186.5 million.

Losses from continuing operations dropped to $54.4 million in 1986 from $202.7 million in 1985.

Sales rose to $2.2 billion from $2 billion the year before.

In April, after defeating a group of dissident shareholders for control of the company, Chairman Cornell C. Maier said the company in 1986 would be profitable for the first time since 1981. But only three months later, Maier warned shareholders that the company might not return to the black after all because of falling aluminum prices and shipments of fabricated aluminum products.

Kaiser's 1986 results were affected by several non-operating items. They included a pretax loss of $59.4 million from the writedown of oil and gas reserves, a pretax gain of $54.5 million from the sale of Kaiser Development and a pretax gain of $32.5 million from the cancellation of a long-term natural gas supply contract.

In all, the non-operating items improved Kaiser's 1986 results by $19.7 million after taxes.

In 1985, the deficit from asset writedowns and the sale of the company's trading business totaled $124.2 million after taxes.

In the fourth quarter, Kaiser had a net loss of $18.3 million, down from a loss of $107.8 million in the same period of 1985. Fourth-quarter sales rose to $544.6 million from $512.5 million in the year-ago period.

Kaiser Aluminum has proposed a complex reorganization plan in which British investor Alan Clore would give it a capital infusion of $140 million in exchange for the job of chairman of a new holding company that would own Kaiser Aluminum.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the plan in a few months, a Kaiser spokesman said.

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