NEW YORK Essar Steel Algoma Inc. posted its sixth consecutive quarterly loss due to lower steel prices, but expects a return to profitability in the near term on recently rebounding flat-rolled tags, the company said Aug. 13.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-based steelmaker posted a net loss of Canadian $28.7 million ($27.74 million) for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 vs. a C$7.2-million loss in the same period last year on sales that fell 12.7 percent to C$464.2 million ($448.82 million) from C$531.9 million.
Shipments rose 5 percent from the first three months of this year to 672,000 tons, but lower steel prices kept the company out of the black, chief executive officer Kalyan Ghosh said in a statement. "Fortunately, prices have begun to rebound since reaching a two-year low in June, and we expect to see an improvement in operating profitability next quarter."
Sales by the companys sheet and strip division fell 4.2 percent to C$338.5 million ($327.2 million) from C$353.3 million a year earlier, while plate sales tumbled 39.4 percent to $74.6 million ($72.1 million) from $123.2 million in the same comparison.