ArcelorMittal posts $1.23b net loss for Oct-Dec quarter

ArcelorMittal, world's largest steelmaker, today reported narrowing of net loss at $1.227 billion for the October-December quarter, helped by higher shipments of steel and iron ore and cost savings.

It said the results could have been better had the company not incurred $1.3 billion on exceptional items.

It had posted a net loss of $3.81 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Operating profit or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 23 per cent to $1.91 billion in the last quarter vis-a-vis $1.56 billion in Q4 of 2012, ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

The company's sales rose by 2.79 per cent to $19.85 billion in the last quarter.

"We are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2014 and expect EBITDA for the full year to improve to approximately $8 billion," the company's Chairman Lakshmi Mittal said.

He further said that measures implemented by the company to strengthen its business continue to yield positive results and ArcelorMittal delivered a 11 per cent underlying increase in EBITDA in 2013, positive free cash flow and ended the year with net debt at the lowest level since its creation.

"The improvement in the overall economic situation led us to re-start some selected steel growth projects. In addition, we have expanded our ability to serve the growing NAFTA automotive and energy steel markets through our agreement to acquire ThyssenKrupp's rolling mill in Calvert, Alabama," he said.

In its outlook for 2014, the company said that it expects an EBITDA of $8 billion while assuming 3 per cent growth in steel shipments, 15 per cent rise in marketable iron ore shipments, stable iron ore prices and moderate improvement in steel margins.

Year-on-year basis, ArcelorMittal's net loss shrunk to $2.545 billion in 2013 vis-a-vis $3.352 billion of 2012. The sales, however, were down 5.67 per cent to $79.44 billion, while EBITDA fell by 10 per cent to $6.888 billion in 2013.

In 2013, it produced 91.2 million tonnes (MT) of crude steel, while its steel shipments were 84.3 MT. In the last quarter, the steel shipments rose by 4.4 per cent to 20.9 MT, while iron ore shipments were up by 56 per cent to 10.3 MT.

The company said that it has managed to cut its net debt to $16.1 billion in 2013, a decrease of $5.7 billion in the last year and maintained the target of bringing down the net debt to $15 billion in the medium term.

It further said that ramp-up of expanded capacity at ArcelorMittal Mines Canada (AMMC) has been completed with run-rate of 24 million tonnes achieved by 2013-end. Expansion of Phase-II of Liberia project from 4 MT per annum to 15 MTPA is on and first production is targeted by 2015-end.

It has set a capital expenditure target of $3.8-4 billion for 2014.

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