NEW YORK Essar
Steel Algoma Inc. swung to its seventh consecutive quarterly
loss, but broke even on a pre-tax basis due to cost
improvements coupled with higher sales and shipping rates, the
company said Nov. 12.
The Sault Ste. Marie,
Ontario-based steelmaker posted a net loss of Canadian $110.1
million ($105 million) for its fiscal second quarter ended
Sept. 30, widening 40.6 percent from a $78.3-million net loss
in the same period last year, despite sales that rose 13
percent to C$464.4 million ($442.8 million) from C$410.9
Steel shipments rose
17.1 percent to 641,625 tons during the quarter from 528,110
tons a year earlier, although realized sales prices declined
6.9 percent to C$638 ($608.38) per ton.
flat-rolled producers earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) totaled C$300,000
($286,071) during the quarter, in contrast to negative Ebitda
of C$5.5 million in the comparable year-ago period.
"Our improved Ebitda
reflects firmer pricing in both sheet and plate products, and
we are encouraged by recently announced price increases, which
run counter to the normal seasonality," chief executive officer
Kalyan Ghosh said in a statement. "Our focus now is on
liquidity as we look to build our raw material inventories in
advance of winter lock closures on the seaway."
Quarterly sheet and
strip division sales jumped 14.1 percent to C$347.1 million
($330.9 million) from C$304.2 million in the fiscal second
quarter of last year, while plate sales fell 12.6 percent to
C$62.3 million ($59.4 million) from C$71.3 million in the same