Results: ArcelorMittal reports USD 2,285 million net income for March quarter

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal on Thursday posted a net income of USD 2,285 million for the first quarter ended March 31.

The world's largest steelmaker had posted a net loss of USD 1,120 million in the year-ago quarter, the company said in a statement.

"ArcelorMittal recorded net income for 1Q 2021 of USD 2,285 million... as compared to net income of USD 1,207 million for 4Q 2020 and a net loss of USD 1,120 million for 1Q 2020," the Luxembourg-based firm said.

The world's leading integrated steel and mining company follows January-December fiscal year.

ArcelorMittal Chief Executive Officer Aditya Mittal said, "The first quarter of this year has been our strongest in a decade. While this is naturally a welcome development following a highly challenging 2020, we are mindful that COVID-19 continues to be a health challenge across the world especially in developing economies." He added that currently, nowhere is this more obvious than in India, where we have our AMNS India JV with Nippon Steel.

AMNS India is sending support wherever it can, including providing daily amounts of oxygen from its sites to local hospitals and setting up temporary medical facilities, he said.

Operationally, he said, the company had a positive start to the year. It is seeing a continuation of the positive market dynamics of the fourth quarter. ArcelorMittal has been bringing back production in line with the demand recovery, which is supported by low inventory levels through the value chain.

Mittal further noted that the company's priorities for the remainder of the year and beyond would be to maintain a competitive cost advantage and to strategically grow through high-return projects in high-growth markets leveraging existing infrastructure to develop its iron-ore resource.

The firm's priorities will also be to consistently return cash to shareholders via a defined capital return policy and to lead on sustainable development.

The company's crude steel output was at 17.6 million tonne (MT), compared with 21.1 MT in January-March 2021.

Steel shipments stood at 16.5 MT, against 19.5 MT a year ago.

ArcelorMIttal posted sales of USD 16,193 million, higher from USD 14,844 million in the year-ago quarter.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, AMNS India, the joint venture in which ArcelorMittal holds 60 per cent stake, said it has reported an Ebitda of USD 403 million for the March 2021 quarter, compared with USD 140 million a year ago. Ebitda stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation.

The company's crude steel production stood at 1.8 million tonne in January-March 2021, against 1.7 MT a year ago.

AMNS India CEO Dilip Oommen said, "As the country (India) battles the second wave of the pandemic, AMNS India remains committed to supporting the country's collective efforts." He added that the company is scaling up its COVID-19 response efforts from significantly ramping up liquid medical oxygen production, expanding beds capacity, and facilitating adequate medical personnel to arranging other facilities at its dedicated COVID-19 hospital at Hazira, Gujarat.

Its near-term plans involve de-bottlenecking existing operations to achieve 8.6 MT capacity. In the medium term, the plan is to grow capacity at Hazira in Gujarat to 14 MT. These growth plans are expected to be funded by utilising the cash the business is generating as well as its balance sheet capacity, AMNS India said.

An additional pallet plant of 6 MT capacity equipped with the state of technology is fully ready at Paradip in Orissa, and will be functioning shortly, the company said.

AMNS India further said the production of liquid medical oxygen has been ramped up up to 250 tonnes a day from the earlier 160 tonnes a day.

The 250-bed health facility in Hazira is being expanded to a 1,000-bed COVID-19 centre.

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