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NATIONAL STEEL REPORTS OPERATING PROFIT, NET LOSS FOR THIRD QUARTER

 NATIONAL STEEL REPORTS OPERATING PROFIT, NET LOSS FOR THIRD QUARTER
 MISHAWAKA, Ind., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- National Steel Corporation today reported an operating profit of $4.3 million but a net loss of $11.1 million for the third quarter.
 The results compared with an operating profit of $11.3 million and a net loss of $3.3 million in the same period last year.
 For the first nine months of 1992, National Steel had an operating profit of $20.8 million but a net loss of $25.7 million. This compares to operating and net losses of $60.0 million and $104.6 million, respectively, for the first nine months of 1991.
 Net sales in the third quarter were $615.2 million, about 2 percent higher than the $603.9 million in the third quarter of 1991. For the nine months, sales were $1.8 billion, about 6 percent above the $1.7 billion in the same period of 1991.
 Steel shipments in the third quarter were 1,284,000 tons, 1.2 percent less than the 1,299,000 tons shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. However, the 3,795,000 tons shipped during the first nine months were 4.3 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 1991.
 Raw steel production of 1,330,000 tons in the third quarter was 3.7 percent less than the 1,381,000 tons in the same 1991 period, but the 4,048,000 tons produced during the first nine months exceeded the 3,847,000 tons produced in the 1991 period by 5.2 percent.
 Kokichi Hagiwara, chairman and chief executive officer, said that the net losses for the quarter and year-to-date included unusual charges of $9.0 and $11.8 million, respectively. The charges resulted from a pension window offered by the company in connection with the restructuring of its salaried workforce and the relocation of its headquarters to Mishawaka from Pittsburgh.
 Hagiwara reported that the functional consolidation of the salaried work force is progressing well. The restructuring is the cornerstone of the company's previously announced plans to reduce its salaried staff by 40 percent by 1995, the chief executive said.
 Hagiwara added that National Steel's product mix was adversely impacted during the quarter by reduced shipments to the automotive industry, the largest market segment for the company's coated products. "As a result," he said, "a greater portion of our production went to markets which use lower-margin, hot-rolled products."
 Hagiwara said that National Steel has continued to improve its product quality and productivity. "Our prime yield, the principal indicator of quality, is continuing its steady improvement," he said. "And we have reduced the number of manhours needed to produce a ton of steel by more than one hour over the past several years, to less than four hours per ton. We will need continued improvement in both areas if we are to meet the ever-toughening competition of our own industry and from competitive products."
 Ronald H. Doerr, president and chief operating officer, noted that steel prices continue to be held down by the soft market conditions and, on the average, are down slightly from the second quarter.
 The executive said that given this situation, National Steel must continue to reduce costs and extended his thanks to employees for their efforts in this area during the past year.
 Doerr reported that commissioning activities are under way at two new facilities -- a coke battery and a joint venture galvanizing line. Both are key components of a $2 billion capital improvement program that began in 1984.
 The 85-oven coke battery and by-products facility, scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter, will lessen the dependence of the company's Great Lakes Division on purchased coke and will meet the stringent new federal air pollution control requirements.
 The galvanizing facility, located in Windsor, Ontario, will be operated by DNN Galvanizing Corporation. National Steel and Dofasco Inc. of Canada will each market about 50 percent of the line's output to the automotive market.
 Ground has been broken for a second new galvanizing facility, in Jackson, Miss., a joint venture with Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The venture, Double G Coatings, will serve the construction market.
 Doerr said that a blast furnace at the company's Granite City Division should resume operation this week following a six-week planned shutdown for maintenance. He noted that careful planning enabled the company to maintain customer delivery schedules during this period.
 Doerr expressed pleasure that National Steel was able to complete the construction of its new headquarters in Mishawaka "right on schedule and below the expected cost." More than 250 people have already moved into the building.
 He said that the location of the new headquarters "will allow us to better serve our customers, nearly half of which are in the states of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, and will place us closer to our three steelmaking facilities." National Steel formerly was headquartered in Pittsburgh.
 National Steel Corporation is the nation's fourth largest steel company, with production facilities in Ecorse, Mich., near Detroit; Portage, Ind., near Chicago; and Granite City, Ill., near St. Louis. The company employs about 10,700 people.
 The corporation's consolidated income summary follows.
 NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION
 Statement of Consolidated Income
 (unaudited)
 (in millions of dollars)
 Period Ended Three Months Nine Months
 Sept. 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $615.2 $603.9 $1,800.5 $1,702.0
 Cost of products sold 543.1 533.7 1,590.5 1,580.5
 Selling, general and
 administrative 31.5 33.6 97.8 104.0
 Depreciation, depletion
 and amortization 28.0 28.1 83.7 83.3
 Equity (income) (.7) (2.8) (4.1) (5.8)
 Unusual items 9.0 -- 11.8 --
 Income (loss) from
 operations 4.3 11.3 20.8 (60.0)
 Financing costs 15.4 14.9 46.4 44.3
 (Loss) before income
 taxes (11.1) (3.6) (25.6) (104.3)
 Income tax provision
 (credit) -- (0.3) 0.1 0.3
 Net (loss) (11.1) (3.3) (25.7) (104.6)
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Robert R. Toothman of National Steel, 219-273-7552/ CO: National Steel Corporation ST: Indiana IN: MNG SU: ERN


CD-MK -- PG009 -- 2938 10/21/92 13:31 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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