ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based steel giant, will post a net profit of $9.3bn in 2022, down 38% from the previous year when the steelmaker reported a record net profit of $14.9bn dollars.
To explain this underperformance, ArcelorMittal points to a drop in global demand for steel and, above all, an exceptional provision of $1bn to cover production cuts at its Kryvyi Rih steel plant in Ukraine. Despite the war and production stoppages at this site, ArcelorMittal, which employs about 26,000 people, has always maintained the payment of its workers’ salaries.
It should also be noted that the steelmaker’s fourth quarter performance fell short of expectations, with an operating loss of $306m and a net profit of only $261m.
For the full year 2022, ArcelorMittal produced 59 megatonnes of crude steel, down 14.6% from 69.1 megatonnes a year earlier.
Steel demand to grow in 2023
This year, the steelmaker expects a better performance thanks to a recovery in global steel demand estimated at 2-3% compared to last year (excluding China).
“Despite the challenges that have arisen over the year, our results demonstrate the benefits of our strengthened asset portfolio and the improvements we have made to our cost base in recent periods. These, together with the mitigating actions we took in the second half of the year to adjust production levels and optimise energy consumption, have strengthened the resilience of our business,” said Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal’s chief executive, in a press release.
At the same time, ArcelorMittal highlighted several projects aimed at positioning the steelmaker advantageously in the fight against climate change. These include a $600m investment in a 1GW renewable energy project in India and the first smart carbon CCU (carbon capture and utilisation) project in Ghent, Belgium.
In Luxembourg, ArcelorMittal signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of the economy last September to invest €130m in decarbonisation technologies at Belval and Bissen. The steelmaker has also already invested €110m euros since 2021 as part of the LUX 2025 tripartite steel agreement, out of a total budget of €202.5m.
€4.9m for the Luxembourg state
Listed on the Paris stock exchange, the group announced that it will propose a gross dividend of $0.38 per share, i.e., a total of $333,567,713.36 to all its shareholders. Among them is the Luxembourg state which, with 12.9m shares, should pocket, as last year, $4.93m.
ArcelorMittal is the second largest steelmaker in the world, behind the Chinese Baowu.
In Luxembourg, ArcelorMittal employed 3,460 people as of 1 January 2022, making it the eighth largest employer in the country, according to Statec.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.