ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, Wednesday said it has suffered a net loss of $709 million for the third quarter that ended Sep 30 owing to the economic slowdown, especially in China.
The Luxembourg-based company had made $659-million profit during the third quarter last year.
According to a company statement, sales during the July-September quarter stood at $19.72 billion against $24.21 billion during the same period in 2011.
“The already fragile global economy was further impacted in the third quarter of 2012 by the slowdown in China. This resulted in very challenging operating conditions for ArcelorMittal, which are expected to continue in the fourth quarter,” said Chairman Lakshmi N. Mittal.
Against this backdrop, he said, the company is focusing on asset optimisation, net debt reduction and productivity and efficiency improvement.
According to the company statement, net debt rose by $1.2 billion during the third quarter to $23.2 billion, driven by “negative operating cash flows (including a $0.3-billion investment in working capital) and negative foreign exchange impacts partially offset by proceeds from asset disposal and an issuance of perpetual securities.”
The company had recorded $959-million profit in the second quarter of 2012.
“The Q3 2012 fall in the iron ore price and the weaker global economic backdrop adversely impacted steel prices and steel volumes as well as the profitability of our mining operations, affecting our previous expectations for group profitability” in second half of 2012, it said.
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, with a presence in more than 60 countries.