ArcelorMittal announces cost reduction program

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, plans to cut 20% of its office workforce as part of a $ 1bn cost-cutting plan, said Thursday after posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and higher shareholder returns.

The group also announced that CFO Aditya Mittal will take over as CEO from his father, Lakshmi, who founded the company in 1976, and become CEO.

“We have worked closely since he joined the company in 1997, and indeed, in recent years, we have effectively run the company together,” Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement. The Mittal family owns over 35% of the company.

ArcelorMittal, which employs approximately 190,000 people, said it will pursue a $ 1 billion cost-cutting program over the next two years, which will include increased productivity, fewer contractors and a one-fifth reduction in office staff. p>

Chairman of the Board Lakshmi Mittal said market conditions improved in the fourth quarter and the company now forecasts steel demand growth of 4.5-5.5% this year.

New CEO Aditya Mittal said in a conference call this coming year that customers are recovering steel inventories and end-user demand is recovering from the summer cuts.

ArcelorMittal said it will resume its dividend payment of $ 0.30 per share and return an additional $ 570 million to shareholders through a new share buyback program in addition to the $ 650 million buyback /

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