Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal has reported net income of $5.1 billion for 2018, representing a 12.7 percent increase compared with the $4.6 billion it earned in 2017. The steelmaker’s total 2018 sales of slightly more than $76 billion represents a more than 10 percent rise compared with the $68.7 billion recorded in 2017.
The company also has reported shipping 83.9 million metric tons of finished steel in 2018, down by 1.6 percent compared with 2017, while producing 92.5 million tons of crude steel during the year, which is down by 0.6 percent compared with 2017.
Comments Lakshmi N. Mittal, ArcelorMittal’s chairman and CEO, “2018 was a year of positive momentum for ArcelorMittal, characterized by important strategic and financial progress. Operating in a healthy market environment, the company enjoyed a strong financial performance, delivering substantial profitability improvement.”
The company cites as positive factors in 2018 an “improved asset portfolio through the completed acquisitions of Votorantim in Brazil and Ilva in Italy, as well as being selected as the successful bidder for Essar Steel India Limited (ESIL) in partnership with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. Group (NSSMC), which subject to completion, would provide improvement potential and growth optionality.”
Looking ahead, ArcelorMittal says it “is capitalizing on opportunities to invest which will enhance future returns, including Ilva (asset revitalization), Mexico hot strip mill (mix improvement) and Vega HAV (Brazil mix improvement). ArcelorMittal expects global steel demand to slightly expand in 2019 as compared to 2018. Steel shipments are expected to increase, supported by improved operational performance.”
Adds Mittal, “Although the issue of global overcapacity persists and there are well publicized macro-economic risks, we expect further, moderate global steel demand growth this year. Having considerably strengthened the company in recent years, we are in a strong position to generate healthy levels of free cash and prosper through the cycle.”