Alcoa Inc., the world's biggest aluminum maker, said first-quarter profit more than doubled as prices surged and sales to automobile and airplane makers climbed.
Net income rose to $355 million, or 41 cents a share, from $151 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa said. Sales increased 11% to $5.7 billion from $5.1 billion in the year-earlier period.
Alcoa benefited from a 14% rise in the average price for its aluminum in the quarter, spurred by demand from China and an improving U.S. economy. The company's sales and profit are rebounding from declines in 2001 and 2002 caused by a slowing U.S. economy and falling prices for aluminum.