The reduction in cost of production led to aluminium operations outperforming in the third quarter for Hindalco, said Satish Pai, managing director of the company, after the company reported its Q3 earnings.The company's net profit fell 22 percent to Rs 193 crore as against Rs 247 crore in Q3, however, it was above CNBC-TV18 poll estimates of Rs 115 crore.On a consolidated basis, profit after tax stood at Rs 1,062 crore, down 24 percent from Rs 1,394 crore year-on-year. Total revenue from operations during the quarter fell 14.4 crore at Rs 10,230 crore from Rs 11,944 crore YoY.The copper business continued to struggle, while the aluminium business did better.“Input cost in general, carbon-related calcined petroleum coke (CPC), coal tar pitch (CTP), all have come down. So our cost of production sequentially quarter on quarter went down by 5 percent which is why our aluminium EBITDA outperformed,” Pai said. "We will try to run at the cheapest cost of operation on account of input cost going down further and volumes will pick up a bit.”“Utkal (a fully-owned subsidiary) is running at probably the best production levels and cost. So all these combinations will mean that our cost of production will improve another 2 percent from Q3 levels,” he further added.Speaking about factors affecting the business, he said, “There were 2 things. One was the LME (London Metal Exchange) itself and second was market demand. LME, up to about December we thought it had bottomed out and it started to pick up and stabilise and then suddenly the coronavirus came and all commodity prices went down.”“So the outlook is simple, if the coronavirus can be quickly brought under control...commodity prices will pick back up. So for a month, commodity prices will be weak but they can very quickly pick up,” added Pai.On the copper business front, he mentioned, “The copper EBITDA will be on the softer side in the coming year.”When asked about Novelis, he said the European Commission is assessing the financial viability of Liberty House. “The business logic, the financing... everything is in place. So we are hoping that the European Commission will get through their process and clear Liberty House,” said Pai.