German steel and metal products distributor Klöckner & Co SE (KCO.DE) reported Wednesday that it slipped to a loss in its first half hurt by charges. Turnover and sales, however, climbed from last year on strong business in USA. Looking ahead, the company issued a cautious forecast.
First-half net loss was 48 million euros, compared to prior year's profit of 50 million euros. Loss per share was 0.48 euros, compared to last year's profit of 0.69 euros.
Before restructuring expenses and impairments, loss was 5 million euros, compared to prior year's profit of 50 million euros.
Turnover increased 14.1 percent to 3.7 million tons and sales grew 12.6 percent to some 3.9 billion euros. The company attributed the rise in turnover and sales primarily to the acquisition of Macsteel Service Centers USA and strong organic growth in the USA.
The company recorded EBITDA of 98 million euros, compared with 166 million euros in the prior year.
"The situation in Europe is becoming increasingly tense and we remain skeptical about what lies ahead. We made arrangements for this situation early on and recently substantially expanded our restructuring measures. The US market, where we are ideally positioned thanks to the almost completed integration of Macsteel, is and remains the growth driver," the company said in its statement.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects third -quarter EBITDA to be 25 million euros to 35 million euros before restructuring expenses, with a slight seasonal decrease in turnover.
The outlook reflects adverse market environment and the usual seasonal slowdown in business activities during the summer.
The company said it continues to expect a rise in turnover and sales in fiscal 2012 compared with the prior year on last year's acquisitions and the organic growth in the United States.
Meanwhile, Klöckner said achieving the EBITDA of the previous year is rather unlikely from today's perspective, due to the escalating economic situation in Europe overall and a possible slowdown in the US economy.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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