updated 1/10/2007 2:51:30 PM ET 2007-01-10T19:51:30

Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. on Tuesday said fourth-quarter profit jumped 60 percent, driven by higher metal prices and strong market demand.

Net income increased to $359 million, or 41 cents per share, from $224 million, or 26 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. The results include after-tax charges of $386 million, or 44 cents per share, for costs related to a restructuring program that includes the elimination of 6,700 jobs.

Income from continuing operations was $258 million, or 29 cents per share. Excluding restructuring and impairment charges, the company earned $644 million, or 74 cents per share.

Revenue grew 20 percent to $7.84 billion from $6.54 billion a year ago.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of 65 cents per share on sales of $7.63 billion from continuing operations.

Annual revenues were $30.4 billion, up 19 percent from 2005, setting an all-time record, according to the company.

“As we enter 2007, market fundamentals remain strong,” said Alain Belda, Alcoa chairman and CEO. “We will generate more than enough cash this year to fund our capital investment programs. We will continue to deliver strong results, invest in our future, and keep a strong balance sheet.”

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