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Harsco results hurt by infrastructure division loss

Keywords: Tags  mill services, scrap metal, nickel, Harsco, Patrick Decker, earnings report, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — The metals industry is experiencing a slight improvement in demand with no foreseen headwinds, Harsco Corp. executives said during a conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results.

The Camp Hill, Pa.-based mill service provider posted a $233.66-million net loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 in contrast to net income of $26.4 million in the same period last year on revenue that slipped 2.2 percent to $740.05 million.

Harsco’s infrastructure division, which it is selling to a New York-based private equity firm (, Sept. 17), kept the company in the red, recording a $242.1-million operating loss in the third quarter.

Harsco’s metals division posted third-quarter operating earnings of $23.04 million, down 12.6 percent from $26.35 million a year earlier on a 2.7-percent fall in revenue to $335.71 million from $344.87 million due to lower nickel and scrap prices, an outage at a domestic steelmaker it services and a decision to exit underperforming contracts.

While it is unclear how the metals industry will perform in 2014, domestic conditions are the strongest they’ve been in months, president and chief executive officer Patrick Decker said.

The company, which operates globally, senses a softening in steel production in China and India.

The company remains focused on its metals and rail segments, which yield higher returns. The pending divestiture of its infrastructure division will net $300 million that will be used to reduce debt.

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