ArcelorMittal Profits Up, But Sees Slower Growth Ahead
In announcing its fiscal 2018 results, ArcelorMittal said it recorded profits of US$5.1 billion on sales of US$76 billion. Its net income was its highest since 2010, the company said.
“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,” said ArcelorMittal chief executive Lakshmi Mittal in a statement.
However, the company said it expects steel demand to slow in some regions this year. In the U.S., it is forecasting growth of between 0.5% and 1.5%, supported in part by a broadly stable automotive market. U.S. saw demand growth of 1.7% last year, it said.
In Europe, it expects demand to rise between 0.5% and 1% on continued strength in construction. That's down from 2.9% that last year, the company said.
In China, overall demand is predicted to retract somewhere between 0.5% and 1.5% on declining machinery output.
Still, the company said it expects global demand to tick up by between 0.5% and 1%.
“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,” Mittal said.