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Home > Finance > Financial News >Company Results

UPDATE 1-AK Steel posts loss on higher costs, weaker sales
Fri July 18, 2003 08:55 AM ET
(Adds CEO quote, background, details about charges, steel shipments)

NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - AK Steel Holding Corp. AKS.N on Friday said it swung to a second-quarter loss from a year-earlier profit due to higher energy and maintenance costs, lower prices and several charges.

The company, which makes flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, said it lost $78.2 million, or 72 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with net income of $16.2 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier.

A surge in health care and pension costs and the poor environment for steel companies "continue to make bottom-line improvements elusive," Chief Executive Richard Wardrop said in a statement. "We are, nonetheless, committed to leaving no stones unturned to find opportunities for cost reductions and efficiencies."

Middletown, Ohio-based AK Steel said second-quarter results included costs of $11.4 million to maintain a blast furnace and $2.4 million to prepare the restart an idle plant as well as a $4.1 million write-off from the shutdown of a sinter ore recycling plant.

Sales fell to $1.02 billion from $1.14 billion a year earlier.

AK Steel said steel shipments slid 7 percent from a year ago to 1.4 million tons, and its average price per ton of flat rolled steel fell to $682 from $708 last year.

Earlier this year, AK Steel's attempt to acquire bankrupt National Steel Corp. NSTLB.OB for $925 million was trumped by a lower bid by United States Steel Corp. X.N , in part because U.S. Steel had managed to secure a critical labor deal.

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