July 22, 2020 / 4:51 PM / 24 days ago

Salzgitter posts 128 million euro first half loss on COVID-19 pandemic

Steel rolls are pictured at the plant of German steel company Salzgitter AG in Salzgitter, Germany March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German steelmaker Salzgitter (SZGG.DE) on Wednesday said that low capacity utilization due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a pre-tax loss of 127.8 million euros (116.4 million pounds) in the first half, exceeding worst investor expectations.

“We anticipate that the second and third quarter will likely mark the bottoming out of the current crisis,” it said in a statement, adding that due to the uncertainty about the macroeconomic recovery, only a rough financial forecast was possible for the remainder of the year.

Salzgitter said it now expects a 2020 pre-tax loss in a low to mid-triple digit million euro range. That compares to its former wording of a forecast for a negative pre-tax result in a significant, most likely triple-digit million euro range.

Revenues in the first six months were down 20% at 3.6 billion euros, the company said.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by John Stonestreet

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