Outokumpu's second quarter 2009 - difficult market with some signs of improvement, operating loss declining

Press release July 23, 2009 at 9.05 am Highlights - Operating loss EUR 94 million - Deliveries and prices low but higher than in the first quarter - Cost saving programmes progressing ahead of schedule Group key figures, EUR million II/09 I/09 II/08 Sales 617 679 1 549 Operating profit -94 -249 174 Profit before taxes -105 -252 166 Net profit for the period -87 -187 56 Earnings per share, EUR -0.48 -1.04 0.31 Net cash generated from operating activities 23 301 103 Stainless steel deliveries, 1000 tons 268 247 391 Stainless steel base price, EUR/t 1) 1 117 925 1 307 Stainless steel transaction price, EUR/t 1 751 1 818 3 195 1) CRU: German base price (2mm cold rolled 304 sheet) Stainless steel demand continued to be low during the second quarter of 2009 reflecting the global economic downturn. There was, however, a slight improvement compared to the first quarter of the year. It seems that the reduction of inventories by distributors and end-users has ended. Also the recent increase in the price of nickel has triggered some purchasing activity. However, there is no major improvement in the underlying demand for stainless steel. Similarly to other producers of stainless steel, Outokumpu continued to cut back production at all of the Group's production units. Capacity utilization during the second quarter was approximately 60%. Outokumpu's deliveries were 268 000 tons, 31% lower than in the second quarter of 2008. Compared with the first quarter of this year deliveries increased by 9%. Also base prices improved from the first quarter. Compared with a year-ago they were down by 15%. Transaction prices, which also include raw material costs, dropped even more by 45% compared with the second quarter of 2008. Raw material prices have risen strongly from the beginning of this year but are far from the levels in 2008. The second-quarter average price for nickel was 50% lower and for ferrochrome 64% lower than the previous year. Consequently, Outokumpu's sales in the quarter totalled EUR 617 million, which is as much as 60% lower than in 2008. Outokumpu's operating profit was negative at EUR 94 million mainly due to the very low delivery volumes. The operating loss was, however, clearly smaller than the first quarter loss of EUR 249 million. The improving price and volume trends as well as the benefits from the cost saving programmes had a positive impact on the underlying profitability. Additionally, there were no major raw-material related inventory losses, which burdened the first quarter operating profit by some EUR 110 million. Operating cash flow remained positive despite continued losses as the decrease in inventory levels in Outokumpu's supply chain released cash from working capital. Balance sheet remained strong: gearing stood at 37% at the end of June. Outokumpu's cost saving programmes are proceeding ahead of schedule. The total fixed cost savings are estimated to be EUR 150 million in 2009. To reflect the somewhat increased order intake Outokumpu will increase its production capability after the summer vacation period. Temporary layoffs for some 700 employees at the Tornio plant in Finland will be adjusted accordingly. Due to temporary production constraints, maintenance breaks and seasonality of demand, delivery volumes in the third quarter are estimated to be somewhat below the level of the first quarter (247 000 tons). Outokumpu's underlying operational result in the third quarter is estimated to be at the same level or somewhat better than in the second quarter. CEO Juha Rantanen: "Despite the continued rather heavy operating loss, the second quarter brought some signs of improvement. During the quarter we saw a slight increase in the order intake for stainless steel and we were able to increase base prices. The recovery in demand is a function of destocking coming to an end and there is no major improvement in the underlying demand for stainless steel from end-users. Outokumpu's management will continue to maintain a tight focus on cash flow, sales and cost-saving actions. This will have an increasing impact in late 2009. It is our ambition to reach a break-even operating profit towards the end of the year." This press release is a summary of Outokumpu's official second quarter 2009 report. For further information, please contact: Päivi Lindqvist, SVP - Communications and IR tel. +358 9 421 2432, mobile +358 40 708 5351 paivi.lindqvist@outokumpu.com Ingela Ulfves, VP - Investor Relations and Financial Communications tel. +358 9 421 2438, mobile +358 40 515 1531 ingela.ulfves@outokumpu.com Esa Lager, CFO tel +358 9 421 2516 esa.lager@outokumpu.com OUTOKUMPU OYJ Corporate Management Ingela Ulfves Vice President - Investor Relations & Financial Communications tel. + 358 9 421 2438, mobile +358 40 515 1531 ingela.ulfves@outokumpu.com www.outokumpu.com This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.