ArcelorMittal core profit climbs 12%

|About: ArcelorMittal (MT)|By:, SA News Editor

ArcelorMittal's (MT) EBITDA rose 12% to $1.75B in Q1 and met analyst expectations, while revenue edged up 0.2% to $19.79B.

The steel-maker's net loss narrowed to $205M from $345M a year earlier, with the latest figure affected by $1.08B in depreciation and amortization, net interest expenses of $426M and losses from currency fluctuations and other financing charges of $384M.

Steel shipments rose 21% and marketable iron ore shipments 28%, offsetting a fall in ArcelorMittal's average achieved steel and iron-ore selling prices.

Net debt increased to $18.5B from $16.1B at the end of December, but the company reiterated its target to cut the figure to $15B in the medium term.

The firm also reaffirmed that it expects 2014 EBITDA to grow to $8B from $6.89B last year, but it increased its 2015 iron-ore production target by 11M tons to 95M tons.

"The prospects for growth of our core markets in Europe and the U.S. are encouraging and overall we remain cautiously optimistic about the business outlook for the rest of 2014," ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal said.

Still, the company reduced its 2014 growth outlook for global steel consumption to 3-3.5% from a previous forecast of 3.5-4% and vs last year's increase of 3.5%. The firm expects weaker steel demand in Russia, Ukraine and emerging markets such as China.

Shares are -2.3% in Amsterdam. (PR)