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The world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal today posted a marginal 1.4 per cent rise in operating profit at USD 1.92 billion for the third quarter to September on the back of higher sales. The firm, led by billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, had posted operating profit of USD 1.89 billion in the year-ago period, it said in a statement. The steelmaker follows January-December as its accounting cycle. Sales of the Luxembourg-based company rose 21.4 per cent to USD 17.63 billion in July-September, from USD 14.52 billion in the same period last year. The company's registered a "net debt of USD 12 billion as of September 30, 2017, as compared to USD 11.9 billion as of June 30, 2017, primarily due to a negative foreign exchange impact". ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said the favourable market conditions have supported another solid quarterly performance, with Ebitda (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the first nine months considerably improving year-on-year. "Operating conditions continue to improve, with key indicators including the ArcelorMittal weighted PMI implying a positive outlook for 2018," he said. The implementation of its Strategic Plan of Action 2020, he said, remains a clear priority and the company is making good progress in this regard. "While pleased with the progress that we are making, we operate in a competitive global environment which is characterised by overcapacity and high levels of imports," he added. The company's steel shipments in July-September increased to 21.7 million tonnes (mt), from 20.3 mt in the year-ago quarter.
Its iron ore production in the third quarter also jumped to 14.2 mt, from 13.7 mt in the year-ago period. "The company continues to expect cash needs of the business (capex of USD $2.9 billion), interest (USD 0.8 billion), cash taxes, pensions and other cash costs (totalling USD 0.9 billion), but excluding working capital investment and premiums paid to retire debt early to be approximately USD 4.6 billion in 2017," it said. On outlook, the company said the market conditions are favourable, adding that demand environment remains positive and steel spreads remain healthy. ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 18 countries. The company is a leading supplier of quality steel in major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with world- class research and development and strong distribution networks.
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