ArcelorMittal keeps forecast despite worse market view

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest producer of steel, retained its 2015 profit outlook, although it cut its forecast for global steel consumption this year with declining demand for steel in all regions except Europe.

ArcelorMittal said the global steel market should be flat in 2015, compared to a previous forecast of growth between 0.5 and 1.5 percent, with sharp downward adjustments to the outlook for Brazil and the region around Russia and cuts to China and the United States.

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The group said it now expected the Chinese market to contract by up to 1 percent, having previously guided for growth of between 0.5 to 1 percent.

While ArcelorMittal does not have much direct exposure to China, the world's largest consumer of steel is an important driver of the global market.

Core profit in the second quarter fell 20 percent compared to the same period last year to $1.40 billion, just above the $1.38 million expected in a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.

ArcelorMittal, which produces 6 to 7 percent of the world's steel, repeated its 2015 guidance that core profit would come in at between $6 and $7 billion.

The group said core profit at its mining business fell 70 percent compared to the same period last year, because of a decline in iron ore prices which was only partially absorbed by lower costs.

Net debt stood at $16.6 billion, unchanged from the end of the first quarter. The group had reached a record low of $15.8 billion at the end of 2014.