Global steel giant ArcelorMittal has reported a first quarter loss of $343 million, down from a $92m net profit a year ago.
While falling demand in Europe hurt ArcelorMittal's earnings for the first three months of 2013, the company did not change its guidance for the rest of the year, and its efforts to reduce debt were well received from major shareholders.
Sales fell from $22.7 in the first quarter of 2012 to $19.7m this year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped over 25 per cent to $1.5bn.
Overall the company said improved profits for the rest of 2013 were expected to be driven by an increase in steel and iron ore shipments and realised benefits from business restructuring and cost cutting.
“Economic conditions remain challenging but our performance in the quarter reflects the results of the management action we have taken to confront the effects of the financial crisis. We have significantly reduced our net debt and the steps we have taken to focus production on our more competitive assets are beginning to yield results,” ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal said.
“We continue to prioritise our key franchise businesses. These include automotive, where our market leading high strength steels are highly valued by our customers; and mining, where the ramp up of ArcelorMittal Mines Canada remains on track for the first half of the year.”
You can read more about the company's earnings here.