ArcelorMittal to Cut $4 Billion

Job cuts are included in the 5 year cost-cutting plan

ArcelorMittal on Sept. 17 launched a program to save $4.0 billion over five years. The plan would involve productivity gains and job cuts via redundancy packages, voluntary retirement, normal departures and rationalization, the company said.

It should result in savings of $30 dollars per ton of steel.

The company said the cuts were intended to raise productivity, reduce energy consumption and lower production costs.

It also forecast that profits before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the first nine months of this year would show a rise of 47.3% from the equivalent figure last year to more than $21.5 billion.

The group said it has saved $1.6 billion since Mittal acquired European group Arcelor in June 2006, creating the biggest world steel group, three times the size of the next biggest, Nippon Steel of Japan.

In the first half of this year, the group beat expectations by reporting a 31% rise in net profit to $8.2 billion after a profit of $10.36 billion in 2007, a rise of 30%. The company said it expected a further improvement in the third quarter on rising steel prices, strong demand from emerging economies and its increasing self-sufficiency in accessing raw materials.

The group has already announced the loss of 575 jobs at a plant in France. The group employs 320,000 people in about 60 countries.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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