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Siderar posts 1Q loss of $90 million

Siderar posts 1Q loss of $90 million

Argentine steel maker Siderar reported its second straight quarterly loss on Monday as the global economic crisis continues to curb demand.
Siderar SA posted a 337 million peso ($90 million) net loss, or 97 cents per share, for the January-March period, compared to a profit of 566 million pesos, or 1.63 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2008.
Net sales fell 24 percent to 1.4 billion pesos ($368 million) during the same period, the company said in a letter to the Buenos Aires stock market.
Siderar blamed the loss on stymied activity in the construction and automotive industries amid the global downturn, which has curtailed shipments and the price for flat-rolled steel. Lower costs offset the loss slightly, the company said.
Domestic shipments fell 60 percent during the first quarter compared to a year ago. But total shipments fell by a more measured 21 percent as exports rose, Siderar reported.
"The crisis is impacting the local Argentine steel market, as evidenced by Siderar's first-quarter net loss," the company said. Siderar expects the decline in local demand to continue through 2009.
Economic expansion in South America's second-largest economy slowed to an annual pace of 2.6 percent in February, the latest date available, after GDP growth topping 7 percent a year since emerging from a deep economic crisis in 2002.
The International Monetary Fund predicts Argentina's economy will shrink by 1.5 percent this year.
Siderar, Argentina's biggest producer of flat-rolled steel, is part of international conglomerate Ternium SA, the largest steel maker in Latin America.
Siderar posted a loss of 388 million pesos in the fourth quarter of 2008, its first in nearly seven years.
Siderar shares fell nearly 1 percent to close at 8.35 pesos ($2.24) on the Buenos Aires stock exchange after the company released its earnings report.


Updated : 2021-06-14 17:01 GMT+08:00