Mexico’s biggest integrated steel mill, Altos Hornos de Mexico (Ahmsa), reported a 4.5% increase in net sales revenues in the first quarter of 2012, mainly in response to higher shipment volumes year-on-year.
Sales revenues totalled 9.77 billion pesos ($752.2 million) in the first quarter of 2012, against 9.53 billion pesos in the first quarter of 2011, the steelmaker said.
The company’s net profit, however, fell to 385.4 million pesos in the January-March period, from 491.6 million pesos in the corresponding period last year.
Ahmsa saw its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) decline by 25.7% year-on-year in the first quarter, to $106 million from $142.7 million a year earlier.
This decrease was due to an unplanned outage at blast furnace No.5
, which remained halted for a 25-day period during January, the producer’s chairman, Ancira Elizondo, said.
The wall of the 2.3 million-tpy unit, the largest at the company’s works in Monclova, Coahuila state, was perforated during planned maintenance work in late December, forcing Ahmsa to halt operations.
The Mexican mill has therefore decided to anticipate maintenance work in the current quarter planned for blast furnace No.5 in order to improve its operational levels, Elizondo said.
Consumers’ steel needs will be met from inventory in the meantime, as well as by production from blast furnaces Nos.2 and 4, he added.
Ana Paula Camargo