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Meтinvest announces operational results for the second quarter and first six months of 2012

Metinvest B.V., the parent company of the international vertically integrated steel and mining Group of companies (jointly referred to as “Metinvest”), today announced its operational results for the second quarter and the first six months of 2012 ended 30 June, 2012.
SIX MONTHS 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
· Crude steel production down 8.1% year-on-year to 6,747 thousand tonnes
· Coking coal (mined) up 11.4% year-on-year to 6,114 thousand tonnes
· Iron ore concentrate production up 2.5% year-on-year to 18,217 thousand tonnes
SECOND QUARTER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
· Crude steel production up 4.7% quarter-on-quarter to 3,452 thousand tonnes
· Coking coal (mined) up 5.9% quarter-on-quarter to 3,145 thousand tonnes
· Iron ore concentrate production down 1.8% quarter-on-quarter to 9,028 thousand tonnes
STEEL
In the first half of 2012, Metinvest produced 5,794 thousand tonnes of hot metal, representing a decrease of 6.0% compared to the corresponding period of 2011. At the same time, production of crude steel fell by 8.1% over the reporting period to 6,747 thousand tonnes due to a decline in production volumes at Azovstal Iron and Steel Works (“Azovstal”) and Ilyich Iron and Steel Works (“Ilyich Steel”) by 540 thousand tonnes and 196 thousand tonnes, respectively. However, steel output at Yenakiieve Iron and Steel Works (“Yenakiieve Steel”) increased by 10.6% year-on-year due to the commissioning of the new blast furnace (‘BF’) No.3. The decline in production of hot metal and consequently crude steel resulted from a weakening in demand for steel products over the first half of 2012. However, the production of crude steel saw an increase of 4.7% (156 thousand tonnes) on a quarter-on-quarter basis, driven by a slight revival in demand within the metals market over the second quarter of the year.
During the first six months of 2012, production of merchant semi-finished products decreased by 19.2% yearon-year, primarily due to a decline of 456 thousand tonnes in production of slabs at Azovstal resulting from a general weakening of demand in the steel market over the reporting period. However, production of merchant square billets to third parties increased by 164 thousand tonnes, offsetting the losses incurred from the decrease in slab production. Production of merchant square billets increased over the course of the first half of 2012, driven by an increase in crude steel output at Yenakiieve Steel following the commissioning of BF No.3 in the third quarter of 2011. Output of semi-finished products grew by 23.2% quarter-on-quarter due to the increased production of square billets at Yenakiieve Steel, which rose by 143 thousand tonnes.
In the first half of 2012, the share of finished products, including tubular products, in Metinvest’s total volume of steel products increased by 3.2 percentage points year-on-year to 79.3%.
During the first six months of 2012, Metinvest saw a decline in production of flat products by 4.9% year-onyear, resulting in total production volumes of 3,235 thousand tonnes for the reporting period. However, in the second quarter of 2012, the output of flat products increased by 27.2% quarter-on-quarter to 1,811 thousand tonnes. This was primarily driven by the increased plate production at Azovstal (69 thousand tonnes), Ilyich Steel (109 thousand tonnes) and Metinvest Trametal (16 thousand tonnes), as well as growing coil production at Ilyich Steel (175 thousand tonnes) and, simultaneously, at Ferriera Valsider (13 thousand tonnes).
In the first half of 2012, production of long products comprised 1,273 thousand tonnes, broadly in line with the comparative period of last year. However, in the second quarter of 2012, production of long products increased by 7.0% quarter-on-quarter to 658 thousand tonnes, primarily driven by increased production volumes (38 thousand tonnes) at Promet Steel.
In the first half of 2012, Metinvest significantly increased the output of rail products, which rose by 45.7% (59 thousand tonnes) year-on-year due to an increase in the volume of orders from the CIS countries
(Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan) and Georgia.
In the first half of 2012, the Group scaled down production of pipe products by 7.7% year-on-year to 299 thousand tonnes, whilst a quarter-on-quarter production decreased by 62.8% to 81 thousand tonnes in the second quarter 2012. Output of large diameter pipes declined due to the completion of a number of projects in Beineu-Shymkent (Kazakhstan) in 2012, as well as due to the postponed next phase of the East-West project (Turkmenistan).
MINING
Metinvest’s total iron ore concentrate production amounted to 18,217 thousand tonnes over the first half of 2012, representing a year-on-year increase of 440 thousand tonnes. The increase in production was attributed to the launch of sections 15 and 16 of the iron ore enrichment facility No.1 at the Northern Iron Ore Enrichment Works (317 thousand tonnes), the launch of the second magnetic and floatation iron ore concentrate upgrading facility (“MFCU”) at Ingulets Iron Ore Enrichment Works (29 thousand tonnes), as well as a production growth at the Central Iron Ore Enrichment Works by 94 thousand tonnes. This increase was driven by the implementation of operational improvements which enabled a reduction in the maintenance time of mills, as well as by the rescheduling of maintenance works at the mills. Separately, production of iron ore concentrate saw a slight decline of 1.8% quarter-on-quarter.
In the first half of 2012, production volumes of salable iron ore concentrate to third parties reached 6,352 thousand tonnes, representing a 1.9% year-on-year increase, driven by reduced intra-group consumption as a result of the lower output of steel products.
In the first half of 2012, production of salable pellets increased by 965 thousand tonnes (+33.1%) year-onyear.
This increase results from the redistribution of sales volumes of pellets to third parties totalling 495 thousand tonnes, and an increase in production of 470 thousand tonnes, including 389 thousand tonnes at the Northern Iron Ore Enrichment Works and 81 thousand tonnes at the Central Iron Ore Enrichment Works (due to a reduction in time spent on maintenance works of the roasting machine and introduction of measures to increase its hourly productivity).
During the second quarter of 2012, production volumes of salable iron ore concentrate and pellets decreased by 5.3% (174 thousand tonnes) and 17.7% (376 thousand tonnes) quarter-on-quarter, respectively. A decline in production of salable pellets was driven by the increased internal consumption of iron ore materials by 286 thousand tonnes (Azovstal - 250 thousand tonnes, Yenakiieve Steel - 28 thousand tonnes, Ilyich Steel - 8 thousand tonnes), as well as a decrease of 90 thousand tonnes in production volumes at the Central Iron Ore Enrichment Works due to a major overhaul of the roasting machine in April 2012.
Total mining of coking coal increased by 626 thousand tonnes (+11.4%) year-on-year for the first six months of 2012 and amounted to 6,114 thousand tonnes. This was primarily due to an increase of 827 thousand tonnes in the mining of coking coal at the US mines of United Coal Company, whilst mining at Ukrainian mines of Krasnodon Coal Company decreased by 201 thousand tonnes.
The increase in volumes of coking coal mined at United Coal Company was driven by a combination of factors including: a surge of 234 thousand tonnes of coking coal at Pocahontas mine following the deployment of additional equipment for horizontal drilling; opening of the new Affinity mine which produced 153 thousand tonnes of coal; and a boost of 453 thousand tonnes of coking coal following the opening of a new site at Wellmore mines. At the same time, Carter Roag mines saw a slight decrease in the mining of coking coal by 13 thousand tonnes due to deterioration in geological conditions. A 5.9% quarter-on-quarter increase in the volume of coking coal mined by the Group in the second quarter of 2012 was also driven by an increase in mining at United Coal Company.
Total volumes of steam coal mined during the first half of 2012 decreased by 69.0% year-on-year to 370 thousand tonnes, whilst volumes of steam coal mined during the second quarter declined by 79.2% quarteron- quarter as a result of the Wellmore and Sapphire mines remaining idle due to low market demand for steam coal.

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