The world's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal on Thursday reported a net loss of USD 539 million for the July-September quarter of 2019 hit by lower steel shipments and prices, and high material costs.
The company had posted a net income (attributable to equity holders of the parent) of USD 899 million in the year-ago period. The steelmaker had posted a loss of around USD 400 million in the second quarter of 2019.
Sales of the company declined to USD 16,634 million in the July-September quarter from USD 18,522 million in the year-ago period.
Commenting on the result, ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi N Mittal in a statement said that "as anticipated, we continued to face tough market conditions in the third quarter, characterised by low steel prices coupled with high raw material costs."
"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. We continue to expect a substantial working capital release in the fourth quarter which should enable us to further reduce net debt year on year," Mittal added.
"Total steel shipments in 3Q 2019 were 1.7 per cent lower as compared with 20.5Mt for 3Q 2018. Excluding the impact of the ArcelorMittal Italia acquisition net of the remedy asset sales, steel shipments were 1.6 per cent lower as compared to 3Q 2018," the statement said.
On the outlook, the company said that based on year-to-date growth and the current economic outlook ArcelorMittal expects global apparent steel consumption to grow in 2019.
In the US, given continued destocking of the supply chain, apparent steel consumption is now expected to contract in 2019, with ongoing weakness in automotive demand and a slowdown in machinery offset in part by healthy non-residential construction demand.
"In Europe, demand is expected to contract...with ongoing automotive demand weakness and slowing construction exacerbated by supply chain destocking," the statement said.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 18 countries.
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