LONDON Stainless steel
producer Outokumpu Oyj saw first-quarter earnings fall 80
percent compared with a year earlier as weak economic
conditions weighed on prices.
First-quarter earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) totaled
12 million ($15.6 million), down from 61 million in
the same period last year.
"The stainless steel market
remained challenging during the quarter, mainly driven by
continued economic weakness in Europe and partially also in the
United States," chief executive officer Mika Seitovirta
Not all the news was grim.
First-quarter sales totaled 2.22 billion ($2.9 billion),
up 71 percent from 1.3 billion in the first three months
"However, overall profitability
remained at an unsatisfactory level, and we are taking decisive
action to turn Outokumpu back to profitability," Seitovirta
The Espoo, Finland-based group
also announced April 25 that it would be cutting 500 more jobs
than it had initially anticipated as part of its four-year
restructuring plan. A total of 2,500 workers will now be laid
Some 770 Outokumpu
employees570 of them in Germanyare expected to lose
their jobs this year.
"These planned job reductions
are a difficult consequence of the necessary measures that we
are taking to reach 200 million ($260 million) in synergy
savings and 150 million ($195 million) in additional cost
savings, and turn the company back to profitability,"