ArcelorMittal hit by slump in steel sales

ARCELORMITTAL chairman and chief executive Lakshmi Mittal took home 12 per cent less in 2009 after the steel giant suffered its worst year to date.

Mittal, who made $4.1m (£2.6m) in 2008, saw his annual salary dip down to $3.6m (£2.3m) last year after an agreement by the board to take a double digit pay cut, according to ArcelorMittal’s annual report.

Collective compensation paid to the board dropped by 23 per cent for the year, with total base salaries, including Mittal’s for the year reaching $15.4m (£9.9m).

The report said at a meeting last February, the board of directors would propose a 15 per cent cut in compensation to shareholders in “light of conditions in the steel market”, but this later changed to 12 per cent. This is set against the backdrop of the company’s worst performance since it’s 2006 inception.

“It will come as no surprise to you that 2009 was not only the most challenging year since the creation of ArcelorMittal but also the most difficult period that many of us will have experienced in our business lives,” said Mittal in a statement.

The Luxembourg based company saw sales almost halve from $124.9bn (£80.4bn) to $65.1bn (£42.1bn) during the year, while shipments dropped to 7.1m tonnes from 101.7m.

Mittal said that the fundamental issue for the company was the drop in steel demand – the largest it had seen in its three year history.

He said that looking forward, however, he is more optimistic.

Mittal said: “The crisis has been very difficult for all of us. But it has also acted as a catalyst to make many positive and necessary changes that will see us emerge as a stronger, leaner and more robust organisation.”