ArcelorMittal reports strong quarterly profits

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ArcelorMittal, the biggest steelmaker in the world, reported unexpectedly strong quarterly profits on Wednesday, with a net result of 1.7 billion dollars (1.31 billion euros) from a loss of 792 million dollars in the same period last year.

The outcome for the quarter, higher than the result for the first quarter, exceeded expectations of analysts as polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Sales in the quarter jumped by 43 percent from the equivalent figure last year to 21.65 billion dollars (16.7 billion euros).

ArcelotMittal, in common with other steelmakers, was hard hit by the economic downturn which suddenly put the brakes on what had been insatiable demand for steel, notably from China.

The results on Wednesday marked the fourth quarter running of recovering profits.

But the group said that it expected this rise in activity to slow down in the third quarter.

It also said that it was considering putting its stainless steel activities into a separate business. In the second quarter, this part of the business generated sales of 1.54 billion dollars.

Finance director Aditya Mittal said that the steel market was continuing to recover progressively.

© 2010 AFP

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