Chesterton Tribune

ArcelorMittal posts weaker year, cites uncertainty

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By KEVIN NEVERS

ArcelorMittal (AM) is reporting a net income in 2011 of $2.262 billion or basic earnings of $1.46 per share, compared to a net income in 2010 of $2.916 billion or $1.93.

AM is also reporting a net loss in the fourth quarter of $1.0 billion or 65 cents per share, compared to a net income of $659 million in the third quarter and a net loss in the year-ago period of $780 million.

The fourth-quarter loss is mostly attributable to a variety of impairment and restructuring charges and income-tax expense but also to a softening in sales.

“The progressive recovery that we have been experiencing was impacted in the second half of the year by the growing uncertainty over the economic situation in Europe, which particularly affected sentiment and performance in the fourth quarter,” AM Chair and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement released today. “Nevertheless, against this backdrop ArcelorMittal delivered an improved underlying performance compared with 2010.”

“The company continues to benefit from its diverse geographic presence and growing mine business, which delivered on its targets to increase iron-ore and coal production by 10 percent and 20 percent respectively,” Mittal added. “I must also remark on our health and safety performance, which showed an improvement in the injury frequency rate to 1.2x in the fourth quarter.”

“Looking ahead to 2012, the situation in Europe remains a live concern,” Mittal said. “Despite the continued uncertainty in this market, however, we are seeing an improvement in sentiment compared with the fourth quarter. Steel shipment volumes for the first six months are expected to be similar to the first half of 2011 and we are again targeting increased production from our mining business.”

2011 Numbers

•Sales of $93.973 billion ($78.025 billion in 2010).

•Shipments of 85.8 million metric tons (85.0 million in 2010).

•Crude steel production of 91.9 million metric tons (90.6 million in 2010).

•Capital expenditures were $4.8 billion ($3.3 billion in 2010), while the company is projecting capital expenditures in 2012 of $4-4.5 billion.

•Operating income of $4.898 billion ($3.605 billion in 2010).

•As of Dec. 31, 2011, the company had reduced net debt to $22.5 billion ($24.9 billion on Sept. 30, 2011).

•As of Dec. 31, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $3.9 billion and total liquidity of $12.5 billion ($2.8 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $11.3 billion in total liquidity on Sept. 30, 2010).

Flat Carbon America, 4Q/2011

•Operating income of $1 million in the fourth quarter, compared to an operating income of $193 million in the third quarter and an operating loss of $67 million in the year-ago period. Full-year operating income of $1.198 billion, compared to $691 million in 2010.

•Sales in the fourth quarter of $5.03 billion, compared to $5.499 billion in the third quarter and $4.573 billion in the year-ago period. Full-year sales of $21.035 billion, compared to $17.684 billion in 2010. Sales decreased primarily due to lower average steel selling prices and steel shipment volumes.

•Average selling price of $868 per ton in the fourth quarter, compared to $910 in the third quarter and $769 in the year-ago period. Full-year average selling price of $892 per ton, compared to $781 in 2010.

•Operating income per ton of $0.00 in the fourth quarter, compared to an operating income per ton of $34 in the third quarter and an operating loss per ton of $12 in the year-ago period. Full-year operating income per ton of $54, compared to $33 in 2010.

•Crude steel production of 6.009 million tons in the fourth quarter, compared to 5.886 million in the third quarter and 5.636 million in the year-ago period. Full-year crude steel production of 24.215 million tons, compared to 23.101 million in 2010.

•Shipments of 5.458 million tons in the fourth quarter, compared to 5.708 million in the third quarter and 5.432 million in the year-ago period. Full-year shipments of 22.249 million tons, compared to 21.028 million in 2010. Shipments declined in all areas with the exception of the U.S. operations, the company said.

Posted 2/7/2012