Liberty Ostrava posted a 30% on-year increase in net profit in 2018 to CZK 4.1 billion ($176.7 million). The firm turned to an operating profit of CZK 726m versus a loss in 2017 of CZK 2.6 billion.
The improved performance was thanks to a 22% increase in liquid steel output to 2.2 million tonnes and higher margins on account of the strong steel market in the first half of 2018. Hot metal output reached 1.9mt last year and wet coke production was 1.1mt.
Ostrava’s financial result in 2018 was CZK 3.6 billion, influenced positively by the sale of its stake in TAMEH Holding to ArcelorMittal. However, it was CZK 1.7 billion lower than in 2017 when it was boosted by the sale of ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Ostrava and ArcelorMittal Tubular Products Karvina.
Last month Liberty Ostrava announced its plan to reduce production by -20% due to rising raw material prices combined with the unfavourable market situation caused by non-EU imports (see Kallanish passim). It also increased prices of all products by €20/t to offset raw materials and energy cost increases. Liberty Group completed its long-touted acquisition of the former ArcelorMittal Ostrava plant on 1 July.