ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, forecast higher profits in the year ahead due to increased steel and iron ore shipments as Europe ends two years of decline.
The company, which makes 6-7 percent of the world's steel and is a broad gauge for the health of global manufacturing, said global steel consumption should increase by between 3.5 and 4 percent in 2014 from about 3.5 percent last year.
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The steelmaker forecast a slowdown in consumption growth in China and Brazil, but saw a modest improvement of 1.5-2.5 percent in the European Union after declines in 2012 and 2013.
Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement that the Luxembourg-based company was cautiously optimistic about its 2014 prospects.
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ArcelorMittal, more than double the size of its nearest rival, reported fourth-quarter core profit (EBITDA) of $1.91 billion, higher than the average $1.80 billion average expectation in a Reuters poll of brokers.
ArcelorMittal had said its core profit (EBITDA) in 2013 would be greater than $6.5 billion. In fact the figure came in at $6.89 billion.
The company said that would rise to $8 billion in 2014, in line with the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S mean estimate for 2014 of $8.1 billion.
It said this was based on a 3 percent increase in steel shipments, a 15 percent rise in shipments of iron ore, average ore prices in line with the market consensus and a moderate increase in steel margins.