September 25, 2019 / 4:00 PM / 21 days ago

ArcelorMittal South Africa may close some sites as it battles weak economy

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 25 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal’s South Africa unit said on Wednesday it may close some operations pending a review as it looks to strengthen its long-term sustainability and battle cheap imports, rising costs and a flagging local economy.

The company, majority-owned by ArcelorMittal, said its review would exclude its coke operations and the Highveld Structural Mill but would include some of its major operating sites, individual plants and production areas.

ArcelorMittal South Africa, which has for some time complained about cheap imports eating into its business, has also been hit by subdued investment and infrastructure spending in the country, as well as a weak South African economy.

“By actively addressing those operating sites, individual plants and production areas which historically have had a negative impact on the company’s financial results, the board aims to strengthen the financial fundamentals of those business areas,” the firm said in a statement.

The company said it had begun consultations with its employees and trade unions on jobs but did not provide further details.

In July the firm said it planned to cut more than 2,000 jobs. (Reporting by Onke Ngcuka and Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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