Finland’s Outokumpu plans cost cuts to stem losses (Reuters India – February 11, 2016)

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Feb 11 Outokumpu, the Europe’s largest stainless steel maker, on Thursday posted an underlying loss from the fourth quarter and forecast more losses in the first quarter, adding it aims to improve profitability with new cost cuts.

Outokumpu, 26 percent owned by the Finnish state, has suffered as a steep drop in the price of nickel, an ingredient in stainless steel, has made distributors hold back orders, while production problems have also harmed the business.

The fourth-quarter underlying operating loss was 11 million euros ($12 million), compared to analysts’ average expectation of a loss of 38 million euros in Reuters poll.

Outokumpu said it estimated first-quarter delivery volumes to be flat compared to the fourth quarter, and its core operating result to remain negative.

“On an immediate term, we will take swift and precise measures… The scale, details and time frame for the savings and working capital reduction will be communicated in the next couple of months,” Roeland Baan, who started as the new chief executive of the company in January, said in a statement.

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