Paris: Global steel giant ArcelorMittal said Friday that it returned to profit in 2016 on the back of a better operating performance and improved market conditions.
ArcelorMittal said in a statement it booked net profit of $1.8 billion in 2016, compared with a net loss of $7.9 billion a year earlier.
Revenues, on the other hand, declined by 10.7 percent to $56.8 billion, weighed down by lower steel prices.
At an underlying or operating level, the group swung to a profit of $4.2 million last year from a year-earlier loss of the same amount.
It forecast a further rise in global demand for steel this year of between 0.5-1.5 percent, following an increase of 1.0 percent in 2016.
Chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said 2016 "was a year of progress for ArcelorMittal, characterised by improving market conditions, a strong contribution from our Action 2020 programme and steps from governments to address unfair trade."
Looking ahead, "we enter 2017 with good momentum in the business and the market," Mittal said.
"Our increased confidence is reflected in the board's decision to increase capital expenditure for 2017. The improvement in performance is, however, from a low base so we will need to continue to prioritise improved returns," he added.
In the fourth quarter alone, the group booked net profit of $403 million compared with a year-earlier loss of $6.7 billion, while sales edged up by one percent to $14.1 billion....