ArcelorMittal eyes $3bn of savings by 2015

STEELMAKER ArcelorMittal said today it was targeting $3bn (£2bn) in cost savings by the end of 2015, as it seeks to restore its steel margins.

At an investor day today, ArcelorMittal said it would make $3bn of savings by improving the reliability, productivity and energy efficiency of its blast furnaces and mills and shifting to low-cost US gas.

The new savings plan is in response to lower steel demand from the Eurozone crisis, although ArcelorMittal said today that it expects global steel consumption to increase by between three and 3.5 per cent this year.

The steelmaker – headed up by Lakshmi Mittal – has already divested assets, launched a rights issue and cut its dividend in an effort to shore up profits.

The aim for the firm is to increase core profit per tonne of steel produced to $150. It dropped to $85 a tonne last year from $118 in 2011, the peak level of the past four years.

In January, the steelmaker said it would sell a 15 per cent stake in a Canadian mine operator to an Asian consortium led by POSCO and China Steel in a deal worth $1.1bn. Today it said it had completed the first installment of the sale.