Chesterton Tribune

ArcelorMittal posts stronger 2Q but North America weaker

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By KEVIN NEVERS

ArcelorMittal (AM) is reporting a net income in the second quarter of 2012 of $959 million or 62 cents per share, compared to $11 million or 1 cent in the first quarter and $1.535 billion or 99 cents in the year-ago period.

“Market conditions in the first half have been very challenging, indeed more challenging than we had expected due to a combination of factors, not least the still unresolved crisis in the Eurozone,” AM Chair and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement released today. “Against this backdrop the company has delivered a creditable performance, continuing to make progress on the divestment of non-core assets, and reducing net debt below the half-year target.”

“Although the global economy remains fragile, we expect operating conditions to remain broadly similar in the second half,” Mittal added. “Europe remains our biggest concern and the severity of the situation is reflected in the performance of our European operations. Our focus throughout the remainder of the year remains on further improving competitiveness and reducing debt.”

Outlook

“In the absence of an economic recovery, steel shipments in (second half 2012) are expected to flow the normal seasonal pattern,” the company said. “Iron ore shipments remain on track to increase by approximately 10 percent (in fiscal year 2012).”

“A further reduction in net debt is targeted by the end of 2012 but this is dependent on further divestments,” AM noted. “The company remains committed to retaining its investment grade credit rating.”

2Q Numbers

•Sales of $22.478 billion, compared to $22.703 billion in the first quarter and $25.126 in the year-ago. The company attributed the decline to lower steel shipment volumes, marginally lower average selling prices, and the impact of negative foreign exchange rates.

•Shipments of 21.7 million metric tons, compared to 22.2 million in the first quarter and 24.4 million in the year-ago.

•Crude steel production of 22.8 million metric tons, compared to 22.8 in the first quarter and 24.4 in the year-ago.

•Operating income of $1.101 billion, compared to $663 billion in the first quarter and $2.242 billion in the year-ago.

•The company recorded an income-tax benefit in the second quarter of $219 million, an income-tax benefit in the first quarter of $190 million, and an income-tax expense of $61 million in the year-ago.

•As of June 30, net debt decreased by $1.6 billion to $22 billion on March 31.

•As of June 30, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $4.5 billion, compared to $4.9 billion on March 30.

Flat Carbon Americas 2Q

•Operating income of $245 million, compared to $407 million in the first quarter and $697 million in the year-ago.

•Sales of $5.359 billion, compared to $5.27 billion in the first quarter and $5.567 million in the year-ago. “Sales were impacted by higher steel selling prices in North America with lower dollar prices in South America due to depreciation of Brazilian Real,” the company said.

•Average selling price of $881 per ton, compared to $886 in the first quarter and $961 in the year-ago.

•Operating income per ton of $43, compared to $72 in the first quarter and $126 in the year-ago.

•Crude steel production of 6.014 million tons, compared to 6.249 million in the first quarter and 6.277 million in the year-ago. The decline was driven chiefly by lower production in South America following scheduled maintenance.

•Shipments of 5.735 million tons, compared to 5.672 million in the first quarter and 5.52 million in the year-ago.

Mittal lacks optimism about Europe

LONDON (AP) - Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal says Europe’s economy is going to remain troubled.

The comments by the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal came during an Associated Press interview Monday. He did not discuss the fortunes of his company, which is set to release its earnings later this week.

One of Britain’s richest men, Mittal’s lack of enthusiasm can be seen as bleak for the economic outlook of the continent, since steel is such a vital component of construction.

Mittal says “Things are difficult, and they are going to remain difficult. We have a lot of uncertainties, we have volatility, and people are not confident about the future of Europe at this time.”

Mital was upbeat, though, about the fortunes of east London, where much of the upcoming Olympics is being staged.

 

Posted 7/24/2012