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Outokumpu launches review of stainless steel long products business

London — Outokumpu has initiated a strategic review of its long products business area "as part of its process to determine optimal long-term business mix for the company," the Finnish stainless steel producer said Wednesday.

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"During the review, Outokumpu will investigate multiple options regarding the business area's future, including opportunities for consolidation within the stainless long products markets," the company said.

Outokumpu's long products range consists of wire rod, drawn wire, bars in various shapes, semi-finished long products and rebar.

The strategic review is expected to be finalized during 2020.

In 2019, the company's long products business area had net sales of €642 million ($709 million), down from €740 million the previous year, and adjusted EBITDA of negative €7 million, compared with adjusted EBITDA of €25 million in 2018.

Outokumpu's stainless long products deliveries fell by 20% to 226,000 mt last year from 285,000 mt in 2018 due to lower external and internal deliveries, the company said in its annual results statement, released Wednesday.

The market was "subdued" in 2019, the company said, adding: "In Europe, demand continued weak in the fourth quarter due to inventory destocking and a decrease in end-user demand, especially in the automotive segment."

Demand in the US remained stable, the company noted.