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Voestalpine Quarterly Profit Declines 10% After Forecast Cut

Voestalpine AG posted a 10% drop in fiscal second-quarter profit after Austria’s biggest steelmaker cut its forecast for full-year earnings on weakening economies.

Net income after payments to hybrid bondholders declined to 104.8 million euros ($135 million) in the three months ended in September, from 116.6 million euros a year earlier, the Linz-based company said today in a statement. Sales held at 3.05 billion euros. The average of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg had estimated net income of 92.3 million euros.

“Our room to maneuver with regard to describing our economic expectations is becoming more and more narrow,” Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Eder told shareholders in a letter. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to find something new in the outlook for the coming months because both the political and economic mood, which is colored by the same negative issues.”

Voestalpine cut its full-year estimate for earnings before interest and tax to 800 million euros from 900 million euros and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to 1.4 billion euros from 1.5 billion euros late yesterday.

Voestalpine slid the most in two weeks in Vienna, dropping as much as 2.4 percent to 24.50 euros and trading at 24.55 euros by 9:50 a.m. That narrowed its gain this year to 13 percent.

“The stuff of which the current crisis is made represents a fertile breeding ground for growing protectionism and the increasing willingness to hand over subsidies,” Eder said in the letter, also signed by members of the management board.

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