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Voestalpine flags further cut to FY'19 earnings

Austria-based steel producer Voestalpine AG's share price dropped almost 6% in early morning trade in Vienna after the company reduced its earnings forecast for its full fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, for the second time in three months.

The company expects EBITDA of about €1.55 billion and EBIT of about €750 million in the full year due to a further economic slowdown expected in the last quarter and lower earnings in the first nine months.

Voestalpine said Jan. 16 that its preliminary nine-month EBITDA, at about €1.1 billion, and EBIT, at about €525 million, are below market expectations due to higher ramp-up costs of its automotive activities in the U.S. and a provision connected with a pending German Federal Cartel Office investigation.

The company reduced its EBIT guidance for the full fiscal year to "just under" €1 billion in late October 2018, from the original forecast of €1.18 billion, attributing the lower expectations to protectionist trade policies around the world hampering international trade and lower demand from the European automotive sector.