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ArcelorMittal narrows Q1 loss to US$416M

ArcelorMittalposted a US$416 million attributable net loss in the first quarter, narrowing fromthe US$6.69 billion loss posted in the preceding quarter and the in the same quarter of2015, the company said May 6.

Depreciation losses fell to US$652 million from US$807 milliona year ago.

Sales fell 21.7% year on year to about US$13.40 billion, primarilydue to lower steel and iron ore prices, while operating income plunged to US$275million from US$571 million in the same quarter last year.

EBITDA fell to US$927 million from US$1.38 billion.

According to ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal, theresults reflect tough operating conditions in the second half of 2015, and thoughthe company's core markets have shown signs of recovery, the improvements are expectedto boost results in the coming quarters.

The company's total steel shipments and crude steel productionin the first quarter slightly fell from figures posted in the corresponding periodof 2015, at 21.5 million tonnes and 23.2 million tonnes, respectively.

Likewise, ArcelorMittal's own iron ore production fell 9.1% yearon year to 14.1 million tonnes, and iron ore shipped at market price decreased by16.8% to 7.8 million tonnes. The company's own coal production also dropped by 8.7%to 1.4 million tonnes due to lower output from its Kazakh operations, while market-pricedcoal shipments rose 11.9% to 900,000 tonnes.

At the end of the quarter, the company's cash and cash equivalentsamounted to US$2.9 billion and net debt rose to US$17.3 billion from US$15.7 billionat the end of 2015, mainly due to working capital consumption and the effects offoreign exchange.

ArcelorMittal expects global apparent steel consumption to growslightly and steel shipments to remain stable in 2016. The company estimates itsEBITDA to be more than US$4.5 billionthis year, with the improving steel market to reflect in its second-half results.