ArcelorMittal chops dividend as it tumbles to third quarter loss

STEELMAKER ArcelorMittal yesterday slashed its dividend from 75 cents a share to 20 cents a share, on the back of weak third quarter results.

The world’s largest steelmaker reported a third quarter net loss of $709m (£440m) over the quarter, down from £659m over the same period last year.

Sales of steel dropped to $19.7bn over the quarter, down from $24.2bn last year.

ArcelorMittal, formed in 2006 when Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal bought European firm Arcelor, said the slowdown in China resulted in “challenging operating conditions” for the firm, which were expected to continue into the fourth quarter.

Steel shipments over the three months to September fell to 19.9m tonnes, down 8.3 per cent from the previous quarter and down 5.7 per cent year on year.

The steel group warned that the recent fall in the iron ore price and the weak global economic backdrop would affect previous expectations for group profitability in the second half of this year.

Earnings for the full year are expected to hit $7bn, ArcelorMittal said yesterday.