Signs of pickup: ArcelorMittal owner Lakshmi Mittal
THE WORLD’S biggest steel maker ArcelorMittal today reported a second quarter net loss of $792m (£483m) but said it expects a "gradual upturn" in the market over the balance of the year.
The net loss was more than double analyst forecasts for $375m (£229m) and compared with a year-earlier profit of $5.84bn (£3.56bn).
The three months to June outcome was also a third consecutive quarter in the red for the steel giant which lost 1.1 billion euros in the three months to March and $2.6bn (£1.58bn) in the three months to December.
Second quarter sales tumbled by more than half from a year earlier to $15.18bn (£9.27bn), reflecting the collapse in demand in its two key markets - the auto and construction industries.
On an operating level, ArcelorMittal reported a profit of $1.22bn (£745,528) and said it expected this to rise to between $1.4bn (£855,390) and $1.8bn (£1.09bn) in the third quarter to September.
"In recent weeks, we have begun to see the first signs of a pick up," chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement.
With plant operating at about half capacity since the end of 2008, some production had been restarted.
Unless there is a fresh deterioration in the economy, "we ought to see a gradual improvement in the second half (of the year) but a complete recovery will be slow," Mittal said.
At end-June, the group's net debt stood at $22.9bn (£14bn).
No Comments Posted yet
Do you have comments on this?