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ArcelorMittal upbeat on 2018 after strong Q3 results
November 11, 2017
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BRUSSELS: ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of steel on Friday reported a better-than-expected core profit in the third quarter and said it was upbeat on 2018.

Core profit rose by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter to $1.92 billion, above the $1.86 billion average expectation in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

“Operating conditions continue to improve, with key indicators including the ArcelorMittal weighted PMI implying a positive outlook for 2018,” Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement, referring to the purchase manager index, an indicator of economic health, weighted according to the company’s steel shipments.

The group repeated its forecast for global apparent steel consumption, which takes into account inventory levels, to increase by 2.5 to 3.0 per cent in 2017 compared to last year.

The group said it shipped more steel in the quarter in all regions, except for Europe but even there the fall was less than the usual seasonal decline towards the end of the year.

Earlier this week, Austria’s Voestalpine VOES.VI also said it was optimistic about the first half of 2018, citing a recovering car industry.

Because of the improved market conditions, ArcelorMittal said it would now invest $2.0 billion in working capital in 2017, compared with a previous forecast of $1.5 billion.

Nevertheless, ArcelorMittal said the market was still impacted by cheap imports from other regions such as China.

“While pleased with the progress that we are making, we operate in a competitive global environment which is characterized by overcapacity and high levels of imports,” Mittal said.

Reuters

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