Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ:CENX) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Aug 05, 2020 • 05:00 pm ET
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Century Aluminum Company Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] After the speaker presentation there will be a question and answer session. [Operator Instructions].
I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Peter Trpkovski. Thank you. Please go ahead.
Peter A. Trpkovski
Thank you, Brandi. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the conference call. I'm joined here today by Mike Bless, Century's President and Chief Executive Officer; Craig Conti, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Shelly Harrison, Senior Vice President of Finance and our Treasurer. After our prepared comments, we'll take your questions.
As a reminder, today's presentation is available on our website at www.centuryaluminum.com. We use our website as a means of disclosing material information about the company and for complying with Regulation FD.
Turning to slide one, please take a moment to review the cautionary statements shown here with respect to forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial measures contained in today's discussion.
With that, I'll hand the call over to Mike.
Michael A. Bless
Thanks, Pete. And as usual, thanks for all of you for joining us this afternoon. We appreciate the time. If we could just flip over to page three please, let me just give you a brief overview of the highlights of the last couple of months. First, a quick update on the status of our operations, obviously still in the context of the continuing health crisis. As we discussed with you a couple of months ago in early March, we essentially ceased all activity in the plants not oriented towards safe and sustainable production. That in addition allowed us increased flexibility, as we instituted a variety of measures, both inside and outside the plants to keep our folks safe.
These measures to date have produced the intended results. Thus far we've recorded a small, but very manageable, number of confirmed infections. It won't surprise you that we don't expect these policies to change in the near term, obviously given the situation in the US generally. The public health environment in the Iceland and The Netherlands is a bit better. But we're still erring towards caution at each of Grundartangi and Vlissingen. Consistent with this operating discipline, we've maintained a strict management of our controllable costs. In essence, all non-required spending remains on hold. That's a change, of course, we made in March. Exceptions since the beginning has been only for spending related to safety and/or the sustainability of operations.
Recently though, we have begun to okay a few modest projects with very quick paybacks, in a matter of months type of paybacks. This operating discipline contributed to strong Q2 financial results that were consistent with our expectations. In a couple of minutes, Craig will provide more detail on the quarter that just ended. When he does that, you'll see that a drop in the LME price plus a drop in regional premiums, principally the Midwest premium of course, reduced EBITDA by $32