ArcelorMittal reports fourth quarter 2019 and full year 2019 results

by David Fleschen

ArcelorMittal (referred to as “ArcelorMittal” or the “Company”) (MT (New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Luxembourg), MTS (Madrid)), the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, today announced results[1] for the three-month and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2019.

2019 key highlights:

  • Against a challenging market backdrop in 2019, ArcelorMittal generated $2.4bn free cash flow (net cash provided by operating activities of $6.0bn less capex of $3.6bn) and reported a net loss of $2.5bn (adjusted net income of $0.3bn, excluding impairment and exceptional items)[2]
  • Ended the year with gross debt of $14.3bn and net debt of $9.3bn (the lowest level since the merger); targeting achievement of the $7bn net debt objective by end of 2020
  • Achieved further $0.4bn of Action2020 gains, with identified new cost improvement opportunities totalling $1bn to be targeted in 2020
  • Completed the acquisition of Essar Steel India in partnership with Nippon Steel

Outlook for 2020:

  • There are signs that the real demand slowdown is beginning to stabilise, and the supportive inventory environment means that we expect apparent steel consumption in our core markets to grow in 2020
  • Certain cash needs of the business expected to be approximately $4.5bn (vs. $5.0bn in 2019, primarily due to lower planned capex)

Financial highlights (on the basis of IFRS[1]):

(USDm) unless otherwise shown 4Q 19 3Q 19 4Q 18 12M 19 12M 18
Sales 15,514 16,634 18,327 70,615 76,033
Operating (loss) / income (1,535) 297 1,042 (627) 6,539
Net (loss)/income attributable to equity holders of the parent (1,882) (539) 1,193 (2,454) 5,149
Basic (loss)/earnings per common share (US$) (1.86) (0.53) 1.18 (2.42) 5.07
Operating (loss) / income / tonne (US$/t) (78) 15 51 (7) 78
EBITDA 925 1,063 1,951 5,195 10,265
EBITDA/ tonne (US$/t) 47 53 96 61 122
Steel-only EBITDA/ tonne (US$/t) 32 34 79 42 107
Crude steel production (Mt) 19.8 22.2 22.8 89.8 92.5
Steel shipments (Mt) 19.7 20.2 20.2 84.5 83.9
Own iron ore production (Mt) 14.8 13.6 14.9 57.1 58.5
Iron ore shipped at market price (Mt) 9.6 8.4 10.0 37.1 37.6

Commenting, Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal, ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO, said:

“2019 was a very tough year, clearly reflected in our significantly reduced profitability. However, our cash generation remained strong helping to reduce net debt to the lowest ever level. This demonstrates the contribution of our Action2020 programme which was designed to ensure ArcelorMittal can be cash flow positive through all aspects of the steel cycle. We expect to make further deleveraging progress this year.

“Maintaining a strong balance sheet and reaching our net debt target is a clear priority for ArcelorMittal. Having now completed the acquisition of Essar Steel India in partnership with Nippon Steel, we have also secured a new opportunity for the group in the fast-growing Indian market. The asset is performing well and offers considerable brownfield potential aligned with the country’s ambition to triple crude steel production over the next ten years.

“We also continue to invest strategically in research and development, including lower carbon steel-making processes and low carbon products. Steel has the potential to significantly reduce its carbon emissions, but new policy will be vital. In this regard we are encouraged by the position adopted by the new European Commission, including their support for a carbon border equalisation.

“Although market conditions remain challenging, there are encouraging early signs of improvement particularly in our core markets of US, Europe and Brazil. With inventory levels having reached a very low level following a period of de-stocking, we are seeing customers return to the market, supporting an improved pricing environment.”

Source: ArcelorMittal, Photo: Fotolia

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