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Value-added sales lift Severstal NA results

Keywords: Tags  Severstal North America, Saikat Dey, earnings results, OAO Severstal, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — OAO Severstal’s North American operations saw a boost in fourth-quarter revenue compared with the previous quarter, led by strong sales in its high-value-added products, according to the Russian steelmaker.

Severstal International, which includes operations in Dearborn, Mich., and Columbus, Miss., posted quarterly revenue of slightly more than $1 billion, up 0.9 percent from the preceding three months and 23.7 percent higher year on year.

"While we are encouraged and pleased with our fourth-quarter results, I believe we are just getting started and have a long way to go," Saikat Dey, chief executive officer of Dearborn-based Severstal North America Inc., said in a statement on the company’s earnings results Feb. 27.

The stronger quarter-on-quarter performance for the steelmaker came as the division’s utilization rate remained close to 100 percent, which was "significantly higher" than the U.S. steel sector’s average of 76 percent, the Moscow-based company said.

Severstal International’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) soared to $92 million, its highest figure in three years, vs. $58 million in the previous quarter, despite falling steel prices, it said.

The company added that higher realized prices were offset by seasonally lower sales volumes. Despite those factors, the company saw a 4.2-percent year-on-year increase in steel product shipments, driven by stronger sales of galvanized and cold-rolled coil products.

The Russian parent said it expects global steel demand to continue growing in 2014 by an "anticipated bottoming out" in European demand and further improvements in the U.S. economy.

"The first quarter has been obviously tough in terms of extreme weather, high natural gas prices and unstable pricing environment, but we are working hard to meet our goals and we think our results speak for themselves," a company spokeswoman told AMM via e-mail.

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