Nippon Steel & Sumitomo 9-Month Loss Widens on One-Time Charges

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Japan’s biggest steelmaker, said its loss widened in the first nine months of its fiscal year after writing down the value of two steel mills and investments were sold at a loss.

The net loss was 151.9 billion yen ($1.62 billion) in the nine months ended Dec. 31 compared with a loss of 1.25 billion yen a year earlier before Nippon Steel Corp. combined with Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., according to a statement today from the Tokyo-based company.

The company booked a one-time loss of 234 billion yen in the nine months from an impairment charge at Nippon Steel’s Hirohata and Sakai mills in western Japan and Sumitomo’s losses on the sale of investment securities, the company said.

Third-quarter net income totaled 24.7 billion yen, the company said, without providing a comparison for the previous year before the merger in October. Four-quarter net income is forecast at 10.3 billion yen, the company said.

The newly created company is pushing to cut costs by 200 billion yen annually after three years of integration as it streamlines domestic facilities and reviews raw material purchasing. The merger was designed to fend off competition from steelmakers in China and South Korea.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo shares were down 3.4 percent at 256 yen as of 14:02 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. They traded at 263 yen before the earnings release.