Kloeckner Third-Quarter Ebitda Doubles as Weak Demand Spurs Cuts

Kloeckner & Co SE (KCO) said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the third quarter doubled, beating analyst estimates, as the German steel trader cut costs amid weak industry demand in Europe.

Ebitda grew to 36 million euros ($48.6 million) from 18 million euros a year earlier, the Duisburg, Germany-based company, part owned by the Knauf family, said today in a statement. That compares with the 34.7 million-euro average of ten analyst estimates, compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 14 percent to 1.6 billion euros.

“The third quarter shows that we have made the turnaround by own means, bucking the market trend,” Chief Executive Officer Gisbert Ruehl said in the statement. “For the first time this year and despite the ongoing steel crisis in Europe” operating income has surged from a year earlier, he said.

Weak demand from automakers and builders in Europe and competition from China have cut steel prices and squeezed profit margins as producers grapple with surplus capacity. ThyssenKrupp AG and Salzgitter AG, Germany’s largest steelmakers, have said they will cut a combined 2,800 jobs until 2018.

Kloeckner reiterated a 2013 Ebitda forecast of 140 million euros, after lowering it in August from 200 million euros. The company’s third-quarter net loss narrowed to 11 million euros from 28 million euros a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tino Andresen in Dusseldorf at tandresen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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