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ArcelorMittal shares gain on positive outlook after tough year

(Sharecast News) - Shares in steel production giant ArcelorMittal gained in Amsterdam after the company pointed to a "more constructive" outlook for the industry following a challenging year in which profits shrunk by 90%. The company reported a net profit of just $0.9bn for the 2023 financial year, down from $9.3bn in 2022, after swinging to a net loss of $3.0bn in the fourth quarter, compared a $0.26bn profit a year earlier.

The last three months of the year were hit by a $2.4bn negative impact related to the disposal of the Kazakhstan operations in December - which followed the fatal Kostenko mine accident in October - as well as a $1.4bn impairment from its investment in Italian steel company Acciaierie d'Italia following downward revisions to the expected future cash flows.

Without these one-off charges, full-year net profit would have been $4.9bn in 2023, down from $10.6bn in 2022.

Fourth-quarter sales totalled $14.6bn, taking full-year revenues to $68.3bn, down from $79.4bn previously, as stable shipments were offset by a 13.5% slump in the average steel selling price.

Nevertheless, following a period of so-called "optimisation" and strategic investments, ArcelorMittal said it is now "on the cusp of a step change in profitability".

Chief executive Aditya Mittal said: "Our [financial] results for the full year reflect the benefits of the structural improvements we have made to our cost base, asset portfolio and balance sheet in recent years."

Looking ahead, he said "there are early signs of a more constructive industry backdrop". He continued: "This, alongside the progress we are making with our portfolio of strategic growth projects - several of which will complete this year - means the company will continue to take important steps forward in its drive to be a stronger, more profitable, and of course safer, company."

The stock was up 3.8% at €25.13 by 1538 CET.

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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