The world’s leading steel producer ArcelorMittal on Wednesday reported a net loss of 2.63 billion dollars for the fourth quarter ended December 31,2008,hit by slump in demand and falling prices amid the global economic slowdown.
The company had a net income of 2.43 billion dollars in the last quarter of 2007,ArcelorMittal said in a statement.
Total sales declined by 21.11 per cent at 22.08 billion dollars in the fourth quarter,from 27.99 billion dollar in the corresponding period a year ago.
Explaining the loss incurred in the final quarter,the company said,”net loss of 2.6 billion dollar is due to 3.1 billion dollar exceptional charges post-tax (4.4 billion dollar pre-tax)”.
During the quarter,the company recorded exceptional charges amounting to 4.4 billion dollars pre-tax related to writedowns of inventory and raw material supply contracts,and provisions for workforce reductions and litigation,it added.
For the full year 2008,ArcelorMittal registered a nine per cent fall in net income at 9.4 billion dollars against 10.36 billion dollars in the previous year.
In its outlook for the first quarter 2009,the steel producer expects its Earnings Before Interest,Tax,Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) to be about one billion dollars,due to full impact of price declines and production cuts.