ArcelorMittal reports loss down, operating profit up

7th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

Steel-making giant ArcelorMittal on Friday reported a big cut in its net loss last year and turned in surprisingly strong operating and debt-reduction figures.

The net loss fell by 24.0 percent from the 2012 level to $2.5 billion (1.84 billion euros) from $3.4 billion, the company said in a statement.

This was despite a fall in sales by 5.6 percent to $79.4 billion.

The steel market, notably in Europe, was hard hit by the economic downturn, but the group said that it faced 2014 with guarded optimism.

Operating profit as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was $6.9 billion, beating the target of at least $6.5 billion.

The outcome was above analysts expectations of $6.78 billion.

However, in 2012, operating profit had been higher at $7.7 billion.

Operating profit is a vital measure of a company's ability to generate more value from outputs than it incurs in costs for inputs, in its basic business before non-operating items such as restructuring costs.

The price of shares in the group, by far the biggest maker of steel in the world, was showing a gain of 3.83 percent to 12.87 euros on the Paris market in early trading. The overall market was showing a slight gain of 0.03 percent.

The group reached the low point of the downturn cycle in the first half of last year, and began to recover in the second half.

The company said it had done better than its targets in reducing net debt which had fallen to $16.1 billion, below the objective of $17.0 billion, and held to its intention to cut this to $15.0 billion in the medium term.

© 2014 AFP

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