ArcelorMittal on Wednesday reported $1.1-billion loss in the first quarter ended March 2009, primarily on account of 'exceptional charges related to writedowns of inventories' amid a slump in demand for the commodity on account of global industrial downturn.
The company had net income of $2.4 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2008.
"The loss in the first quarter of 2009 resulted from exceptional charges amounting to $1.2 billion primarily related to writedowns of inventory," the world's largest steel maker said in a statement.
ArcelorMittal saw its sales went down by 31.6 per cent to $15.1 billion in the reporting period as against $22.1 billion in the same period last year.
"The main reason for the decline continues to be the extreme weakness in demand for steel products in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of the global economic crisis, along with a steep fall in prices, leading to drastic curtailment of production," the company said.
To tide over the prevailing crisis, the company had resorted to production cuts of up to 45 per cent and other cost-cutting measures like 'Management Gains' programmes for which the target has been revised to $2 billion in 2009 from previous $1.2 billion.