NEW YORK Essar Steel Algoma Inc. posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss on the back of a "lackluster" market and lower average sales prices.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-based flat-rolled steel producer posted a net loss of Canadian $25.1 million ($25.07 million) in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a C$50.8-million loss in the same period a year earlier on sales that fell 6.1 percent to C$475.1 million ($474.56 million).
"Despite lackluster steel markets, our commitment to safety and the continued realization of our cost-reduction strategies combined to generate improved operating results for the quarter," chief executive officer Kalyan Ghosh said in a statement released with the earnings report Feb. 13.
Steel sheet shipments during the fiscal third quarter totaled 580,000 tons, up 21.6 percent from 477,000 tons in the fiscal second quarter, while steel plate shipments rose 7 percent to 76,000 tons from 71,000 tons. But sales prices fell 5.5 percent for steel sheet and 2.6 percent for plate in the same comparison, the company said.
Sales of steel sheet and strip products totaled C$349.1 million ($348.7 million) during the fiscal third quarter, up 2.4 percent from C$340.9 million in the same period a year earlier, while sales of plate products fell 36.2 percent to C$74.1 million ($74.02 million) from C$116.1 million in the same comparison.
"Despite improving macro(economic) indicators, order book and market conditions remain lackluster thus far" in the current quarter, the company said, adding that shipments in its fiscal fourth quarter are expected to return to normal levels.