ArcelorMittal keen to start India work as profits double

July 30th, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, July 30 (IANS) ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker that has seen its net income more than double to $5.8 billion for the second quarter of this financial year, Wednesday said it was keen on commencing work in India as fast as possible. “India is a very important part of our strategic plans and very important market for ArcelorMittal,” the group’s chief executive Lakshmi Niwas Mittal told IANS over a conference call here.

With land having been allocated for two steel projects with an estimated investment of $10 billion each in Jharkhand and Orissa, and engineering teams in place, “a lot of action is being taken,” he said.

“We now want to reach a point where we can start to work on the sites. We are trying to get possession of the land,” Mittal said.

“As long as all stakeholders - the local communities as well as government agencies - support our projects, we are very happy.”

Mittal’s comments came as the company announced a 114 percent rise in net income in its second quarter results - far higher than predicted by industry analysts - on account of rising global demand.

The company also said in its filing that it has been allocated mining lease for the Karampada iron-ore deposit in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, which has an estimated reserves of 65 million tonnes.

ArcelorMittal shares climbed as much as 8.5 percent following the announcement that profits rose to $5.84 billion from $2.72 billion a year earlier.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $8.05 billion and the company is now aiming at EBITDA of $8.5 billion in the third quarter, which Mittal said would set a new record.

“Our financial strength enables us to continue to invest heavily in the development of the business. We continue to look for opportunities to further enhance our raw material self sufficiency,” Mittal said.

“The strongest growth is coming from newly industrializing economies, such as Brazil, Russia, China and Eastern Europe,” Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal said.

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