Stainless steel producer Outokumpu Oyj posted a second-quarter
net loss of 250 million ($330 million), 65 percent higher
than a 152-million loss in the first three months of this
year, due to a drop in deliveries, lower nickel prices and a
weaker performance by its Americas operations.
Sales fell to
2.06 billion ($2.72 billion), down 7.1 percent in the
underlying result in the second quarter was in line with
expectations but continued on a disappointing course. Our sales
and profitability were negatively affected by the 20-percent
decline in nickel price since the beginning of the year, poor
economic environment and challenges in our Americas
operations," Outokumpu chief executive officer Mika Seitovirta
said. "During the second half, we will continue to focus on
achieving additional savings across all of our operations to
mitigate the weak stainless steel market outlook. ... We also
have a clear action plan in place to improve our performance in
our Americas operations."
One-tenth of the
second-quarter loss was related to operations at Acciai Terni
Speciali SpA in Italy, which Outokumpu is required to divest as
part of the conditions for the European Commissions
approval of the 2.7-billion ($3.56-billion) merger with
ThyssenKrupp AGs former Inoxum division.
The ramp-up of a
ferrochrome project offset some of the companys losses,
Seitovirta said. "Our ferrochrome operations and synergy cost
savings efforts continued to progress ahead of plans.
(Production in the first six months of 2013) reached 209,000
tonnes, boosting our confidence in reaching our full-year
production target of 400,000 tonnes."
optimistic about meeting the synergy savings target related to
the merger. "Inoxum acquisition-related synergy savings reached
39 million ($51 million) during the first half," he said,
"indicating that we will exceed our original target of 50
million ($66 million) savings in 2013."
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.