Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu posted massive operating losses in the second quarter, and predicted that weakening sales would keep operating profit in the red in the third quarter as well.
The company's operating profit plummeted to a loss of 169 million euros, compared to a profit of 72 million for the same quarter a year ago, weighed down by 148 million euros (214 million dollars) of one-off expenses.
After the release Outokumpu's share price fell by 2.35 percent to 7.68 euros on a Helsinki Stock Exchange up 1.5 percent.
Net profit was 50 million euros, an improvement on the 44 million-euro net profit posted in the second quarter of 2010, and also exceeded predictions by analysts polled by Dow Jones newswire, who expected a net profit of only 33 million euros.
Sales for the April-June period were 1.28 billion euros, compared to 1.125 billion euros for the same period in 2010, and slightly worse than the 1.36 billion euros predicted by analysts polled by Dow Jones.
The company warned that it expected sales volumes of stainless steel to slow even further in the third quarter, and that the base price for steel would also decline, resulting in an operating profit that it expected will be "clearly negative".
"Much of our attention has been on the group's short-term agenda, and this has provided us with quick sources of cash and helped attack the most critical factors burdening Outokumpu's profitability," Outokumpu chief executive Mika Seitovirta said in a company statement.
The company is in the midst of a restructuring effort to staunch bleeding losses, including seeking exit strategies from loss-making units such as its global tubular unit (OSTP) and its Swedish precision strip mill Kloster.