Essar Steel Algoma returns to profitability

Cites higher shipments, higher selling prices and lower costs.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Essar Steel Algoma Inc. is returning to profitability, reporting a net income of $26.8 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

A year earlier the Sault Ste. Marie manufacturer of hot and cold rolled steel products including sheet and plate reported a loss of $38.6 million.

The company attributed the gain to higher shipments, higher selling prices and lower costs. It says EBITDA for the quarter was $70.6 million and $168.2 million for the nine- month period ending on Dec. 31.

The steel maker said completed recapitalization and refinancing during the quarter, freeing up more than US$200 million on the balance sheet and reducing about US$47 million in annual cash interest expenses.

Shipments for the quarter were 618,538 tons, up 4.7% compared to the same three-month period in 2013. Sales returns improved 15.8% in the quarter and by 19% for the preceding nine months.

Essar Steel Algoma successfully raised more than US$1.2 billion to recapitalize and finance the company in November.

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