January 13: Aluminium manufacturer Alcoa published its year-end results yesterday and they made grim reading.

Following the collapse in metal prices, sales were down almost 20 percent to US$5.7bn in the fourth quarter, and losses were $1.19bn, compared with a profit in the same period of 2007 of $632m. The latest results include charges for impairment, restructuring and other charges of $920m.

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