The world’s largest steel-maker, ArcelorMittal, on Wednesday said it had incurred a net loss of $ 1.1 billion in the January-March, 2009 quarter as demand for steel collapsed globally.
The company said it is monitoring its two Indian projects closely, and pacing them in accordance with the economic situation here.
With reports of ArcelorMittal reviewing its Rs 100,000 crore Indian projects in Jharkhand and Orissa flying thick and fast, Mittal said the company is monitoring the situation closely. “We are in the process of acquiring the requisite licences. Our actions will be guided by the economic pace in India as we dont want to exceed our capacity."
ArcelorMittal’s earnings were down sharply from the same quarter in 2008, when it had reported a profit of $ 2.371 billion. However, it is markedly better than the October-December quarter, when the company posted a decline of $ 2.6 billion.
Revenues during the period fell 50 per cent to $ 15.1 billion from $ 29.81 billion, but the company expressed confidence that a revival in demand was inevitable in the ensuing quarters.
“The main reason for the decline continues to be the extreme weakness in demand for steel products in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis, along with a steep fall in prices,” said LN Mittal, chief executive officer and chairman, ArcelorMittal.
“We are operating in an extremely challenging environment with unprecedented production cuts of upto 50 per cent, most of which will stay for the time being. However there are signs of prices firming up in some markets and a technical recovery is almost inevitable.”