UPDATE 1-Arcelor Mittal reports strongest quarter in more than a decade
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By Marine Strauss
BRUSSELS, Nov 11 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, reported slightly lower than expected third-quarter earnings on Thursday after what it said was its strongest quarter in more than a decade.
The company said it expects global steel demand to grow by between 12% and 13% this year, excluding China, where real demand has weakened. Arcelor now expects a slight contraction in Chinese steel demand in 2021, it said, citing the country's real estate sector.
Third-quarter core profit (EBITDA), the figure most watched by the market, showed about a sixfold increase from the same period last year at $6.06 billion, slightly lower than the average forecast of $6.15 billion in a company poll.
It was the strongest quarter since 2008 and up 19.9% from the previous three-month period, the company added.
"Our third-quarter results were supported by the continuing strong price environment, resulting in the highest net income and lowest net debt since 2008," CEO Aditya Mittal said in a statement.
"Despite the volatility we continue to see as a result of the ongoing presence and repercussions of COVID-19, this has been a very strong year for ArcelorMittal."
The group said net debt declined to $3.9 bilion, the lowest since 2006 and down from $5 billion at the end of the previous quarter.
(Reporting by Marine Strauss
Editing by David Goodman)