ArcelorMittal Europe reports $79m operating profit

Steel giant ArcelorMittal Europe (NYSE:MT) announced Friday positive financial results as net loss narrowed during the first quarter at $205 million, but the company expressed  "cautious optimism" for the rest of 2014.

The European segment of Luxembourg-based global steel and mining company reported an operating profit of $79.7 million, compared to an operating loss of $545 million last quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the quarter also rose by 29% to $536 million, compared with $416 million last quarter.

Sales in the Europe segment also increased by 1.6% to $103 billion, due to higher steel shipments as the company predicted in February.

Global steel consumption. Source: ArcelorMittal.

“As the pace of recovery in the EU has been slightly stronger than expected when we announced our full year results in February, we have upgraded our forecast for European steel demand in 2014 from around 2%, to 2-3%,” said CEO ArcelorMittal Europe’s Aditya Mittal in a statement.

Global market-wise, the firm expects apparent steel consumption to increase by approximately 3%-3.5% in 2014, based on current economic outlook. Apparent steel consumption refers to the sum of net industry shipments within a given country or region, plus its imports and minus its exports.

In 2013 the world's largest steel producer had revenues of $79.4 billion and crude steel production of 91.2 million tonnes, while own iron ore production reached 58.4 million tonnes.