The increase in earnings, as measured in underlying EBIT, was driven by higher value-add margins and the effects of continuous improvements. The improvements were partly offset by slightly reduced sales volumes, mainly in the United States.
Underlying EBIT year-to-date also increased compared to 2015, due to the same factors as mentioned above.
Market demand in Q3 2016, compared to the same period last year, increased by 0.7 percent in North America and 2.1 percent in Europe. In North America, building and construction activity and automotive demand contributed positively, while demand in the transportation segment weakened. In Europe, there were positive developments in automotive and transportation and a mixed picture in building and construction.
Going forward, a continued moderate market growth is expected in Europe, while certain market segments in North America show indications of softening. In both North America and Europe, aluminium substitution in the automotive industry is contributing positively.
Development from Q2
Underlying EBIT in Q3 2016 decreased when compared to the previous quarter, due to seasonally lower market demand.
Compared to Q2, market demand for extruded products in North America and Europe decreased by 4.6 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, driven by seasonality. Demand in the fourth quarter is typically also impacted by seasonality.