ArcelorMittal posts USD 679 mn profit in Q1

ArcelorMittal posts USD 679 mn profit in Q1

In the year-ago period, the company had a net loss of USD 1.06 billion, the world's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

"The economic recovery is continuing in-line with our expectations and 2010 is set to be a stronger year for ArcelorMittal. The year has started with improved demand in all main markets, which will have a positive impact in the second quarter," ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi N Mittal said.

The company's sales rose 23 per cent from year-ago period to USD 18.65 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Besides, the company has paid a dividend of USD 282 million during January-March period of the year.

For three months period of 2010, total steel shipments were 21.5 million metric tonnes, as compared to 16 million metric tonnes in the year-ago period and stood 20 million metric tonnes in the fourth quarter of last fiscal.

"The increase resulted from improved demand across all segments in the first quarter of 2010, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2009," it added.

Looking ahead, ArcelorMittal is expected to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in the range of USD 2.8 to USD 3.2 billion in the second quarter.

The company further said,"shipments, average selling prices and operating costs are all expected to be higher, as compared to the first quarter of 2010."

Steel maker debt increased to 20.7 billion during January-March quarter of 2010 from 18.8 billion in the same quarter last fiscal. The company also expects net debt to increase in the second quarter as well.

"The increase in net debt in the first quarter of 2010 was primarily due to increased investment in working capital and the acquisition of non-controlling interests in ArcelorMittal Ostrava," the company said.

During the quarter, the company's EBITDA from Asia, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)regions increased by 49 per cent to USD 275 million and sales grew by 30 per cent to USD 2.14 billion.