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Aperam Posts Loss, Sees Improvement as Stainless Demand Rebounds

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Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Aperam, the stainless-steel producer spun off by ArcelorMittal, posted a second straight quarterly loss after it sold less metal and prices fell. The company said the outlook is improving.

The fourth-quarter net loss was $46 million, compared with a $41 million loss in the prior three months, the Luxembourg-based company said today in a statement. Revenue slipped 5.5 percent to $1.4 billion.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization declined 15 percent to $53 million, compared with the three months ended Sept. 30. Aperam said earnings in the first quarter are expected to improve as stainless steel demand rebounds.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have started to see the signs of a rebound in the business, but we continue to remain cautious considering the global economic uncertainty for 2012,” Philippe Darmayan, chief executive officer, said in the statement.

European stainless-steel producers, hobbled by excess capacity in the industry that has raised costs and suppressed prices, may gain from Outokumpu Oyj’s plans to merge with a unit of ThyssenKrupp AG to form the world’s largest maker of the alloy.

The company created by the Outokumpu deal plans to cut about 1.4 million metric tons of steelmaking capacity in Europe by shuttering plants.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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