Commodity price plunge pummel ArcelorMittal earnings, reports £5.4bn Loss


ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel and mining company, has posted a $7.9bn (£5.4bn) annual loss for 2015 amid the global slump in commodity prices.

More than half the loss came from a write-down in the value of its mining operations to reflect the collapse in the value of its iron ore.

The annual loss deepened compared to 2014 when the company was $1.9bn (£1.3bn) in the red.

But the firm said it was making progress on cutting costs.

Results for 2015 were not as bad when excluding one-off items but still saw a loss of $300m (£210m).

Chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said: “2015 was a very difficult year for the steel and mining industries.

“Although demand in our core markets remained strong, prices deteriorated significantly during the year as a result of excess capacity in China.

“Throughout the year we have rigorously focused on implementing a series of measures aimed at reducing costs and ensuring the business is adapted for these tough market conditions.”

Sales dropped 20% to $63.6 billion (£43.7bn), which mostly reflects falling prices as the company’s iron ore production and steel shipments only dipped marginally.

The results come as the UK steel industry buckles under pressure from high energy costs and competition from cheap Chinese imports.

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