Nippon Steel Predicts 200-B.-Yen Net Loss for April-Sept.

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 4 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> said Tuesday that it expects to incur a consolidated net loss of 200 billion yen in the April-September first half of fiscal 2020, which ends next March.

This will be its first net loss for the fiscal first-half period since former Nippon Steel Corp. and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. merged in October 2012 to create Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The merged company adopted the current name in April 2019.

The red-ink estimate comes amid a global plunge in demand for steel from manufacturers, mainly automakers, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nippon Steel posted a net profit of 38.7 billion yen in the first half of fiscal 2019.

“We don’t think demand will completely return to what it was before,” Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Katsuhiro Miyamoto said in a press conference over the phone. “The situation is worse” than during the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008, he added.

Nippon Steel in February announced a series of structural reform measures, including closing a steelworks in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, in 2023. “We’ll move up all the measures and consider additional steps if necessary,” Miyamoto said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press