International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has announced that it has revised the outlook on Luxembourg-headquartered ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, to positive from negative, and has affirmed its credit rating at BB+.
Fitch said that the revision of the outlook reflects the company’s decisive actions to preserve its financial profile during the pandemic, resulting in an absolute debt reduction. A faster-than-expected rebound in steel markets and gains from realization of organic growth projects have led to upward revisions of Fitch’s forecasts.
The credit rating agency expects ArcelorMittal to use cash flow generated during the current market peak in a balanced approach between debt reduction, shareholder returns and investment targets. Fitch expects the current price gains to be short-lived, but they will support the results for the first half this year, given European steelmakers’ full order books. Fitch forecasts ArcelorMittal’s reported EBITDA to be close to $9.5 billion in 2021, with a possible upside depending on the pace of price moderation.