Steel News

ArcelorMittal Profits Up, But Sees Slower Growth Ahead

2/7/2019 - The world’s largest steelmaker recorded its largest full-year profit in nearly 10 years, but is forecasting that demand growth will slow in the U.S. and Europe and contract in China. 

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.