ArcelorMittal posts $1.9 bn net loss in Q4; expects pick up in steel demand

Topics ArcelorMittal

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal on Thursday reported a net loss of $1.9 billion for the quarter ended December.

The world's largest steel maker had posted a net income of $1.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, the company said in a statement.

The company reported a "net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent" of $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter.

ArcelorMittal follows January to December fiscal year.

For the whole year (2019), the company reported a net loss of $2.5 billion as against net income of $5.1 billion in 2018.

Revenue in 2019 was at $70.6 billion as compared with $76 billion in the previous year. Its crude steel production stood at 89.8 million metric tonnes, while own iron ore production was at 57.1 million metric tonnes.

ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi N Mittal said, "2019 was a very tough year, clearly reflected in our significantly reduced profitability. However, our cash generation remained strong helping to reduce net debt to the lowest ever level."

"This demonstrates the contribution of our Action 2020 programmewhich was designed to ensure ArcelorMittal can be cash flow positive through all aspects of the steel cycle. We expect to make further deleveraging progress this year," Mittal added.

Maintaining a strong balance sheet and reaching the net debt target is a clear priority for the company, he said.

With the acquisition of Essar Steel India in partnership with Nippon Steel, the company has secured a new opportunity for the group in the fast-growing Indian market, he said.

The asset is performing well and offers considerable brownfield potential aligned with the country's ambition to triple crude steel production over the next ten years, he added.

"Although market conditions remain challenging, there are encouraging early signs of improvement particularly in our core markets of US, Europe and Brazil. With inventory levels having reached a very low level following a period of de-stocking, we are seeing customers return to the market, supporting an improved pricing environment," Mittal said.

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