Arcelor suffers loss of $3.7bn

Luxembourg/New Delhi, Feb. 6 (PTI): ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, has gone into the red with a net loss of $3.73 billion in 2012 largely because of a $4.3 billion write-down of its European businesses.

It had posted a net profit of $2.26 billion in 2011.

Operating profit or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) also fell 30 per cent to $7.08 billion in 2012 vis-a-vis $10.11 billion in 2011, ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

The company's sales, too, were down 10.39 per cent to $84.21 billion in 2012.

However, ArcelorMittal gave a positive outlook for 2013, saying it expects higher EBITDA and 2-3 per cent increase in steel shipments in 2013.

It is also expecting "marginal" improvement in per-tonne steel margins in 2013 as it hopes to reap full benefits of asset optimisation attained during the second half of 2013.

"Year 2012 was very difficult for the steel industry, particularly in Europe where demand for steel fell a further 8.8 per cent.. Although we expect the challenges to continue in 2013, largely because of the fragility of the European economy, we have recently seen some more positive indicators," the company's chairman Lakshmi Mittal said.

During the year, ArcelorMittal took a non-cash write-down of $4.3 billion.

"The $4.3 billion goodwill impairment is because of the weaker macroeconomic and market environment in Europe where apparent steel demand fell by approximately 9 per cent in 2012, bringing the cumulative demand decline to approximately 29 per cent since 2007," the company said.


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