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ArcelorMittal's Profit Tops Forecasts, Jumps 12%

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, reported on Wednesday a 12 percent rise in its third-quarter core profit, above some forecasts and allowing it to raise its dividend.

Earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) rose to $4.88 billion from $4.35 billion a year ago, ahead of the average forecast of $4.76 billion given in a Reuters poll of eight analysts.

The company had forecast EBITDA would be between $4.7 billion and $4.9 billion. It said it now expects fourth-quarter EBITDA of between $4.6 billion and $4.8 billion.

Sales and net profit came in at $25.52 billion and $2.960 billion respectively. Analysts on average forecast sales of $25.4 billion and a net profit of $2.53 billion.

ArcelorMittal said that its board of directors had decided on the back of these results to raise the company's base dividend by $0.20 to $0.375 a share.

ArcelorMittal reiterated that its shareholders return policy was based on returning 30 percent of net income to shareholders every year through an annual base dividend, with additional share buybacks.

The steel behemoth has announced a series of investments and acquisitions across the world during the third quarter and also unveiled plans to increase its annual shipments from 111 million tonnes in 2006 to 126 million tonnes in 2012.