ArcelorMittal’s reports higher losses amid rising costs
Steel giant ArcelorMittal said Thursday lower prices and rising costs of raw materials pushed up losses in the third quarter.
The world’s biggest steel maker reported a net loss of $539 million (587 million euros) for the three-month period ending September 30, after a loss of 447 million in the second quarter.
“As anticipated, we continued to face tough market conditions in the third quarter, characterised by low steel prices coupled with high raw material costs,” CEO Lakshmi Mittal was quoted as saying in a statement
“In these markets, we remain focused on our own initiatives to improve performance and our priority is to reduce costs, adapt production and focus on ensuring the business remains cash flow positive.
He said the group expects a “substantial working capital release” in the fourth quarter which should enable it to further reduce net debt year on year.
The Luxembourg-based multinational maintained its forecast for a rise in global steel consumption this year, although in a range of between 0.5 and 1 percent.
But the outlook for Europe and the United States was revised downwards as the wider industry endures job cutbacks on fierce competition as well as the effects of US tariffs imposed last year.
Revenues for the third quarter totaled $19.6 billion, down 10.2 percent year-on-year, and down 13.7 percent from the previous quarter, the group said.
On Wednesday, Italy’s prime minister said ArcelorMittal had pulled out of an agreement to buy struggling Italian firm Ilva because of production concerns, warning the company wants to cut 5,000 jobs at one of its plants.
The grop retreated from its plan to buy the steel producer, blaming a decision by Rome to not grant it immunity from prosecution over the heavily polluting Taranto plant.