German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp (IW 1000/62) said on Monday it would not pay any annual dividends after it posted a loss of 4.7 billion euros for the year following a writedown of two loss-making steel plants.

After announcing the US$6.1 billion loss, the company said in a statement that it would pay no dividend for the last fiscal year because of an absence of distributable profits.

The world's 14th largest steel producer, the group had paid 0.45 euros per share in the prior year after posting a 1.8 billion euro loss.

It also confirmed the dismissal of three executive board members over its recent economic difficulties and wave of scandals.

Steel-making forms the historic core of ThyssenKrupp's business, which was formed in 1999 from the merger of two steel giants Thyssen and Krupp, whose roots stretch back into the 19th century.

But the steel business is highly cyclical and has been severely hit by the economic downturn.

ThyssenKrupp -- which also makes elevators, industrial plant technology, submarines and car parts -- had been scheduled to publish its earnings results on Tuesday at its annual press conference.

It is currently looking for potential buyers for the two loss-making steel plants in the United States and in Brazil. A writedown of 3.6 billion euros was attributed to the facilities, according to ThyssenKrupp

“The sale process for the Steel Americas business area’s plants in Brazil and the USA is proceeding to plan. In the second phase, which commenced in November 2012, a selection of interested parties are being given the opportunity to analyze the plants in a due diligence process and submit binding purchase offers,” the company said in a news release.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012