ThyssenKrupp Posts Record Loss

Sales fell 24%

Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp revealed a record loss of 2.36 billion euros (US$3.5 billion) in its 2008/2009 fiscal year, the company said on Nov. 13. It attributed the loss to collapsing markets, restructuring charges and depreciated assets.

ThyssenKrupp added that sales in the year to September 30 had plunged by 24% to 40.6 billion euros, a far cry from the boom in the steel market of recent years.

In addition to steelmaking, the group manufactures elevators, submarines and yachts. Only the elevator division managed to post sales increases.

On top of the slump in business, the Duesseldorf-based group booked 1.6 billion euros in charges arising from the construction of two new factories, restructuring costs generated by the elimination of 12,000 jobs and the lower value of certain assets. Most of the charges were connected with ThyssenKrupp's technology divisions, which include shipbuilding and auto manufacturing, two sectors facing crises.

Earnings next year will likely show strong improvement in comparison, and ThyssenKrupp said it expected to post a pre-tax profit somewhere between 100 million and 500 million euros. Sales should also stabilise amid a rebound in the global economy and the steel sector in particular.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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