NEW YORK Russian
steelmaker OAO Severstals North American operations
recorded higher revenue in the first quarter compared with
the fourth quarter of last year as a double-digit
rise in sales volumes more than offset lower average selling
unit, comprising its Dearborn, Mich., and Columbus, Miss.,
operations, posted revenue of $930 million for the three months
ended March 31, up 14.8 percent from $810 million in the fourth
quarter but down 15.5 percent from $1.1 billion in the first
quarter of 2012.
The stronger quarter-on-quarter
performance came as the units sales volumes rose 15.1
percent to 1.1 million tonnes as Severstals North
American mills operated at an average utilization rate above 90
percent in the first quarter, well above the U.S. industry
average of 78 percent, the Moscow-based company said.
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
(Ebitda) soared to $47 million in the first quarter from $6
million in the fourth quarter of last year. The North American
division benefitted in the first quarter from a $12-million
settlement with a coking coal supplier.
outperformed the overall group, which saw first-quarter Ebitda
of $425 million increase 21.1 percent from $351 million in the
fourth quarter but fall 24.8 percent from $565 million a year
earlier on revenue of $3.32 billion, up 6.6 percent from $3.12
billion in the fourth quarter but down 9.7 percent from $3.68
billion in the first quarter of 2012. The company posted net
income of $44 million in contrast to a $150-million net loss in
the fourth quarter and down 89.7 percent from net income of
$427 million in the first three months of last year.
"The global economy continues to experience headwinds
putting pressure and increasing volatility on the steel and
bulk markets. Although our business model makes us resilient
even in challenging times, we remain cautious about the
immediate outlook for the industry, which will continue to
impact performance as previously anticipated," the company said
in its first-quarter earnings report. "Against this background,
management continues to focus on cost management and efficiency
initiatives together with prudent capital investment programs
as we continue to develop the business."