Russel sees earnings drop during first quarter

North American service centre chain Russel Metals saw its profits fall to about one-third of their prior-year levels during the first quarter, Kallanish reports. 

Russel earned $11 million on sales of $815m during Q1, down from a profit of $34m on sales of $1 billion in Q1 2019. 

The company’s metals service centre segment saw revenues fall by -19%, while its energy products segment saw revenues fall by -15%. Steel distribution revenues, meanwhile, fell by -49%. 

“Operationally, steel prices began to decline late in the quarter and demand flattened,” says ceo John Reid. “The increased oil supply drove down the price of oil and, coupled with the deterioration of the economy due to the pandemic, further pressured our energy operations as our customers rapidly reduced capital spending. As this unprecedented environment evolved, our operations have worked tirelessly to adapt.”