ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 30, 2020 • 09:30 am ET


ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Daniel Fairclough

Thank you very much. Good afternoon and good morning, everybody. This is Daniel Fairclough from the ArcelorMittal Investor Relations team. Firstly, thank you for joining this call today to discuss the results for the Second Quarter and First Half of 2020. We publish those results this morning, alongside a Q&A document and a detailed presentation with speaker notes. So in order to be as efficient as possible, the intention of this call today is not to go back to that presentation again, but to move directly to your questions. As a result, we should be able to complete this call in about 45 minutes. [Operator Instructions] And it's worthwhile, the last few quarters, just taking one question at a time from each analyst and you can always rejoin the queue later if you have a further question. So, please, if you could just limit yourself to one question at a time that would be appreciated. So with that brief opening, I'll hand over to our Chairman and CEO, Mr. Mittal.

Lakshmi N Mittal

Thank you, Daniel. Good day and welcome, everyone. I'm joined on today's call by Aditya Mittal, President and Chief Financial Officer, Simon Wandke, Head of Mining, Genueno, Head of Group Finance and Daniel. Before we answer your questions, I would like to begin as usual with a few remarks. First on safety, which is always our ArcelorMittal's priority. We worked hard during the quarter to further secure the work environment for COVID-19. Implementing all the measures we are all now familiar with. I'm pleased that excluding ArcelorMittal Italia, the lost time injury frequency rate this quarter was the level we have recorded, lowest level we have recorded. We will be working hard to sustain and further improve this performance. Turning to our financial results. While the impact of COVID-19 is visible in the shipments of the second quarter, our performance reflects how quickly we responded to the extraordinary market conditions. As we discussed at the time of our first quarter results, we had a clear strategy to adapt our production to lower demand, and at the same time align our cost by verbalizing our fixed cost base. Our resilient cash flow performance, combined with the benefits of the capital raise we completed in May have helped to reduce net debt to $7.8 billion at 30 June. This is our lowest ever level and our target of $7 billion is within sight. This is important, as our target will trigger a shift in our capital allocation priority away from de-leveraging to cash return to shareholders.

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, we are seeking a pickup in many of the markets in which we operate. While this is encouraging, demand does remain significantly below normal levels, and the pace and profiles of the recovery remains uncertain. Our focus therefore remains on continuing to keep costs as low as possible to protect profitability and cash flow, whilst being ready to react quickly to changes in the market environment. With that brief introduction, we