UPDATE 2-Norsk Hydro rides aluminium price, divisions underperform

* Adjusted EBIT NOK 2.9 bln vs forecast NOK 3.0 bln

* Bauxite, rolled products below forecast, aluminium above

* Says demand remains strong

* Shares down 3 pct after recent increase (Updates share price)

OSLO, July 25 (Reuters) - Overall profit growth at Norsk Hydro was overshadowed on Tuesday by below-forecast performances from several businesses including rolled products, knocking the aluminium producer's shares.

Norsk Hydro's stock was down 3.04 percent at 1201 GMT, lagging an Oslo benchmark index, and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg highlighted the division's difficulties.

"I suppose it is a disappointment over our rolled products unit," Brandtzaeg told Reuters after an earnings presentation which also pointed to some negative impact in the third quarter.

Norsk Hydro's second quarter underlying earnings before interest and taxes rose to 2.9 billion crowns ($363 million) from 1.6 billion crowns. This compared with 3.0 billion crowns forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

However, Rolled Products reported an underlying earnings of 84 million crowns, lagging a 189 million forecast, and down from 242 million in same quarter last year, due to some operational problems, including ramp-up costs for a new automotive line.

"But we have a plan to fix it," Brandtzaeg said, without elaborating further.

Norsk Hydro's Bauxite and Alumina divisions and Energy also came in below forecasts, while its biggest business unit, Primary Metal, was above forecast and total revenues and net underlying profit beat expectations.


Norsk Hydro and Qatar Petroleum co-own the Qatalum smelter where shipments were disrupted last month as a result of sanctions imposed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.

The plant, which produces more than 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year, could not ship through the UAE port of Jebel Ali and had to ship via Oman instead.

Norsk said it had seen "limited effect from imposed sanctions on Qatar" and that Qatalum's second quarter results were up due to higher aluminium prices.

The company has seen its share price rise 50 percent over the past year, partly due to rising global demand for the aluminium and higher prices in the quarter.

It repeated its forecast for 4-6 percent global demand growth in aluminium, adding that the market was largely balanced, and said cost cuts of 500 million crowns for the year were on track.

"We only expect minor changes to consensus estimates," said Hjalmar Alberg, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. ($1 = 7.9944 Norwegian crowns) (Additional reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Jason Neely/Louise Heavens/Alexander Smith)