• 10 tips to find bargains

    Susan Erasmus gives advice on how bargain hunters can get the most bang for their buck.

  • Inside Labour

    Labour's bitter breaches need to be seen in historical context, says Terry Bell.

  • Rich getting richer

    Economists differ on how to tackle the chasm between rich and poor, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

ArcelorMittal focus on cutting debt

Jul 25 2012 16:20

Related Articles

Price drop hammers ArcelorMittal SA

ArcelorMittal must meet obligations

Court grants ICT leave to appeal

Amsa boosts first-quarter profit

Amsa in line for price-fixing fine

Amsa shares near 7-year lows


Paris - ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, said Wednesday it would focus on improving its competitive position and cutting debt as it announced a 37% drop in second quarter net profit.

"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," chairman and chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement.

"Europe remains our biggest concern and the severity of the situation is reflected in the performance of our European operations," Mittal said.

"Our focus throughout the remainder of the year remains on further improving competitiveness and reducing debt."

Finance director Aditya Mittal told a conference call the company would shut down or close less profitable steel mills, with the goal of saving one billion euros ($1.21bn) per year.

In Europe, 16 plants of a total 25 were still in operation, but sites in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Spain were either slated to be suspended or had already been shut down, he said.

The group posted a second-quarter net profit of $959m, a drop of 37% from the same period a year earlier, on sales that fell to $22.5bn from $25.1bn.

The net profit was nonetheless better than ArcelorMittal's first quarter figure of just 11 million dollars, and Aditya Mittal said it was possible the group would benefit from a "technical rebound" in the fourth quarter in Europe.

Meanwhile, it planned to sell non-strategic assets such as a 48.1% holding in the engineering group Paul Wurth for 300 million euros, following a sale of activities in North America for $605m.

Group debt at end-June stood at $22bn, a year-on-year drop of $1.6bn, Lakshmi Mittal noted.

Shares in the group showed a solid gain of 2.81% in afternoon trade on the Paris stock exchange, while the CAC index of blue-chip stocks was up 0.86% overall.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!


Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How do you see your boss? He/sheis:

Previous results · Suggest a vote