Brussels: ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, forecast a sharp pick-up in the second quarter due to higher demand and prices in all main markets after a weaker-than-expected first three months.
The Luxembourg-based company, which has about 8% of the global market, said on Thursday its much-watched core profit (EBITDA) would rise nearly 60% in the second quarter from the first after a dip in the January-March period.
The $2.8 billion to $3.2 billion forecast for April-June was on balance more bullish than the average $2.9 billion figure analysts had pencilled in.
“The economic recovery is continuing in line with our expectations and 2010 is set to be a stronger year for ArcelorMittal,” chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement.
“The year has started with improved demand in all our main markets, which will have a positive impact in the second quarter,” he said.
First-quarter shipments rose but were offset by lower average selling prices and increased costs, as the company had predicted. For the second quarter, ArcelorMittal said both shipments and prices would rise.
On Wednesday, world No.2 Nippon Steel booked a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit and for the first time failed to give an annual forecast with uncertainties over raw material costs and steel prices.
Earlier in April, the World Steel Association said global steel demand was growing faster and sooner than expected, driven primarily by China, and was seen reaching pre-crisis levels this year.
European steel industry body Eurofer said on Monday the rebound was driven by restocking and that most steel-using sectors, except construction, would show year-on-year growth again in the second quarter.