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GrafTech profits drop on world steel output slide

Keywords: Tags  GrafTech International, graphite electrode, earnings report, Rey Mashayekhi

NEW YORK — GrafTech International Holdings Inc. cited a slowdown in global steel production in reporting second-quarter earnings that plunged from the same period last year.

Parma, Ohio-based GrafTech posted net income of $4.36 million in the three months ended June 30, down 89.6 percent from $41.85 million a year earlier on sales that fell 4.5 percent to $301.36 million.

GrafTech’s Engineered Solutions segment reported record sales of $70.02 million, but its Industrial Materials segment—which is responsible for graphite electrode and needle coke production and accounts for a majority of the company’s business—reported second-quarter sales of $231.34 million, down 11.8 percent from $262.29 million a year earlier.

GrafTech chief executive officer Craig Shuler said the results were "in line with expectations, in spite of a very challenging operating environment." He said that slowing global steel production had caused "overcapacity" in the graphite electrode industry, resulting in lower prices and higher costs for producers.

The company reduced its 2013 earnings guidance to a range of $145 million to $165 million from an April 5 forecast of $165 million to $195 million and an initial forecast of $175 million to $205 million (, April 25).

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