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ArcelorMittal profit in June quarter rises 19% to $1.3 billion

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-07-2017 AFP

Paris: Global steel giant ArcelorMittal said on Thursday that its June quarter net profit climbed nearly 19% to $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) thanks to improving market conditions.

Sales rose by 17% from the June quarter in 2016-17, and were up by 7% from the March quarter.

The company said “current market conditions are improved compared to twelve months ago” and that its analysis of the market “suggests that steel shipments in 2H (second half) 2017 will be higher than would normally be suggested by seasonality alone.”

It said interest costs were expected to be lower than it had previously estimated, allowing it to increase investment in working capital while continuing to pare down debt.

ArcelorMittal’s improving performance comes despite tensions ratcheting higher over China’s failure to cut down its massive overcapacity in steel production.

The US has vowed to slap tariffs on steel imports while the European Union has taken measures against some Chinese steel products, arguing that the government is providing unfair subsidies to manufacturers and distorting the market.

“It remains a matter of concern that we are not able to capture the full benefits of this demand growth due to continued high levels of imports,” ArcelorMittal’s chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said in the company’s earnings statement.

“We continue to work towards achieving a comprehensive trade solution in response to unfair imports,” he said.

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