ArcelorMittal’s Q3 profit beats expectations on energy savings

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -ArcelorMittal, the world’s second-largest steelmaker, reported higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Thursday as cost cutting and energy savings offset declining demand.

The Luxembourg-based company said third-quarter core profit (EBITDA), the figure most watched by the market, was $2.7 billion. This was less than half the year-ago figure, but higher than the average forecast in a company poll of $2.34 billion.

ArcelorMittal said it had cut its gas consumption in Europe by 30% in a bid to counter surging energy prices, as a slowdown in economic growth across the globe weakened demand for steel.

Total sales dropped 6% from a year before to $19 billion in the July-September period.

The company said that in the face of weaker demand and higher energy costs, it had cut capacity accordingly, adding that demand should pick-up once industry destocking was completed.

At current spot prices, variable costs per tonne were set to decline in the fourth quarter, but by less than the decline of revenue per tonne, the company said.

(Reporting by Marine Strauss, Bart Meijer and Phil Blenkinsop; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Janane Venkatraman)