Alcoa reports first quarter loss of $178m

Alco plant in Portovesme, Italy

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One of the world's biggest producers of aluminium, Alcoa has reported a first quarter loss due to falling prices.

Alcoa reported a loss of $178m (£106m) for the three months to the end of March.

It was hit by an 8% decline in the price of aluminium compared to the same period in 2013.

The results also include one-off charges related to the closure of aluminium smelters and rolling mills in Australia and the US.

Alcoa has been trying to shift its business away from smelting metal to selling finished products for use in aircraft, cars and other goods.

In a statement with the results Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa's chief executive officer said: "Our transformation is accelerating - we're powering growth in our value-add businesses and aggressively reshaping our commodity business."

During the quarter Alcoa recorded charges for the closure of a smelter and two rolling mills in Australia.

It also picked up charges related to the closure of a smelter in the US and the costs of disrupted production at its operations in Saudi Arabia.

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